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OAK PARK/THOUSAND OAKS : Death Penalty Waived in Teen Murder Trial

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Los Angeles County prosecutors have decided not to seek the death penalty against two Ventura County youths accused in the May murder of an Agoura Hills teen-ager.

Lael Rubin, Los Angeles County assistant head deputy district attorney, said the decision by her office involves two 18-year-old suspects, Brandon Wade Hein of Oak Park and Jason Holland of Thousand Oaks, accused of participating in the murder of James Farris III, 16.

Three other boys, all minors at the time of the crime, also are being tried for the murder but are not eligible for the death penalty.

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Farris, a sophomore at Agoura Hills High, was stabbed to death during an argument at the Agoura Hills home of Michael McLoren, also 16. McLoren received knife wounds as well, but survived the attack.

The trial of the five defendants is scheduled to begin Oct. 6 in Malibu Superior Court.

Prosecutors contend the murder was committed during a robbery, a special circumstance under which the death penalty may be imposed. But in this case, Rubin said prosecutors decided the penalty was not appropriate in trying the teen-age defendants.

“Age is certainly a factor,” Rubin said.

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