Cop Kills 8-Year-Old Girl; Two Teens Charged With Her Murder
Two Pennsylvania teens are staring down first-degree murder charges after a bullet killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility outside of a high school football game in August this year.
Neither Angelo “A.J.” Ford, 16, nor Hasein Strand, 18, fired that fatal shot. A police officer did, but the two teens were charged under the concept of transferred intent, which allows the state to prosecute someone for a crime he didn’t technically commit if it happened during the commission of a related offense.
On August 27, Ford allegedly threatened Strand and his friends with a handgun at an Academy Park High School football game, prompting Strand to retrieve his own firearm from his vehicle. Ford opened fire and Strand responded in kind; a nearby victim was ultimately wounded in the gunfire.
That victim was not Bility, who died when an identified Sharon Hill cop shot her in the back after three officers began shooting at a car that they reportedly believed was involved in the shooting between Ford and Strand. The bullets from the police also struck Bility’s older sister and two other bystanders, who survived.
The charges against the two teens have revived an under-the-radar debate about the doctrine of transferred intent, a controversial approach that some say grants the state too much latitude to sweep people up in prosecutions for crimes they did not commit. That’s complicated here by the fact that the actual shooter in question was another agent of the government.
It would not be the first time that police have used the legal doctrine to deflec
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