OKLAHOMA CITY — A metro teen accused of murder and arson will face trial as an adult. Tristan Owen allegedly started a fatal fire that killed his elderly neighbors last year. The judge’s ruling all depends of what the jury does.
If Owen is convicted of murder, he will be sentenced as an adult.
If he’s acquitted of murder, but convicted of the lesser arson charge, he’d be eligible to be sentenced as a juvenile.
The fire that killed 86-year-old couple Boyd and Doris Haynes has caused lots of grief for two families, including the couple’s son, Terry.
“It’s been absolutely horrible. It’s affected all of us dramatically,” Terry Haynes said.
Tristan Owen’s family says having the 16-year-old locked up for the last seven months and maybe for the rest of his life has been painful as well.
“It’s a terrible price we’ve had to pay,” Wilma Owen said.
In court, judge Fred Doak ruled Owen will face trial as an adult, but left the door open as to whether the 16 year old will be sentenced as an adult or a juvenile.
“I think if he was old enough to do the things he did and make the decisions he did, he’s certainly old enough to be tried as an adult,” Haynes said.
On the other hand, Owen’s grandparents aren’t happy with judge Doak’s decision.
“He don’t have no b***s. You can quote that,” Bob Owen said.
Prosecutors claim the teen confessed to making Molotov cocktails and tossing them in the street outside the victim’s home, but the teen denied intentionally setting the Haynes’ home on fire.
“We’re sorry the Haynes lost their life but you don’t need to railroad an innocent teenager for it,” Bob Owen said.
If Owen is sentenced as an adult, he’d be facing a life sentence.
A juvenile sentence would allow him to be released sometime after he turns 18.