A judge in Pennsylvania has denied a request from a 12-year-old killing suspect to have his case transferred to juvenile court.
The boy is facing adult charges in the shooting death of his father's pregnant girlfriend, and a judge turned down a petition to have the case transferred from criminal court to juvenile court.
Police say the boy, who was age 11 at the time of the February 2009 incident, shot Kenzie Marie Houk, who was eight months pregnant, once at point-blank range in her farmhouse in western Pennsylvania.
The boy, whose name was withheld by CNN because he is a juvenile, was charged with one count each of criminal homicide and homicide of an unborn child in the death of Houk, 26, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo told CNN.
Houk's 4-year-old daughter found her in her bed, according to police. The child alerted landscapers working near the home, who then called authorities.
"This is something that you wouldn't even think of in your worst nightmare; that you'd have to charge an 11-year-old with homicide," Bongiveng said, according to CNN affiliate WTAE. "It's heinous, the whole situation."
Under Pennsylvania law, anyone over the age of 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult. If convicted, the boy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, Bongivengo said.
Authorities said the boy is the son of the victim's live-in boyfriend atÂ the home in Wampum, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
"At this point, we don't believe it's accidental," Bongivengo said.
The weapon was a youth model 20-gauge shotgun, designed for use by children, that belonged to the boy, according to investigators.