The youth, whose name has not been released by the Dallas Police Department, was arrested Wednesday, accused of driving the car involved in the crash that killed Florence Kelly, 82, on November 7.
Defense attorney Kylah Ferrell told The Dallas Express that having a 12-year-old charged with murder for a hit-and-run is very rare.
“With him being 12 years old, it will be in juvenile court,” Ferrell said. “I don’t know if [the prosecution] will be successful with that.”
After the age of 14, a defendant would be charged as an adult, Ferrell said.
Ferrell said that even an accidental killing in a hit-and-run is considered homicide under the law. She could not think of any similar case where someone as young as this was charged with murder for a hit-and-run.
It is not clear whether the suspect has a lawyer.
A Ring doorbell camera captured the moment when four people inside the vehicle involved in the alleged hit-and-run fled the scene, according to footage released by the DPD.
A 13-year-old girl, trapped in the front passenger seat, was left behind at the scene because she could not escape the vehicle. She was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Kelly was reportedly hit by the suspect’s car while driving with her husband to get groceries. The suspect was allegedly speeding, and the collision occurred at the intersection of Royal Lane and Rosser Road.
Kelly’s family expressed shock regarding the young driver.
“I just cannot fathom some of the things that we’ve heard, that we’ve learned about him. It’s just unbelievable,” said Kelly’s son, Donovan Kelly.
Donovan hopes that the youth will be brought to justice.
“He’s killed somebody. He’s taken an innocent life, and there are consequences for your actions. I don’t really care how old you are. He consciously decided to get behind the wheel of the car and drive it with no driver’s license, obviously no real driving experience, and basically hurtled into our mother’s car, killing her,” said Kelly.
Kelly’s daughter, Rebekka Kelly, told WFAA in November that her mother’s final years on earth were robbed from her by the hit-and-run.
“I’ve never had a Thanksgiving, Christmas, a birthday, or a Mother’s Day without my mother,” Rebekka said. “I will miss her every day of my life, and she was my best friend.”
The DPD said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Doris Smith at (214) 671-0013 or [email protected] and mention case number 201951-2022.