One of my students is a murderer 11:01 p.m. 2003-06-13

A couple of days ago, my husband e-mailed me an article about the robbery and murder of a Marietta taxi driver. Here is a link to an article telling what happened.

Well, guess what? This morning, one of my colleagues was here to substitute for another summer school teacher. She ran up to me and yelled,"Miguel, Miguel, Miguel!!!!"

I used to send him to her classroom to "work" - since we did not get along at all and I was trying to avoid complications. I couldn't seem to resist saying something when he did nothing...

Apparently, Miguel, the hard-core gangster that we removed from my class and school, was one of the shooters!!! She said that his picture was in the Marietta Daily Journal, but their website is really poorly laid out, and archives do not seem available.

(BTW, if you don't know about Miguel, I wrote about him in my online journal - I call him Manuel in the entry.

Here is the story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Cobb to try 2 teens as adults in slaying


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two Cobb County teenagers will be tried as adults on charges they murdered a 53-year-old Marietta cabdriver. Nestor Hernandez, 16, of Acworth and Miguel Reyes, 14, of Marietta are held in the county youth detention center on charges of felony murder, murder and armed robbery charges, the Cobb County district attorney's office said Wednesday.

Cabbie Abelino M. Juarez of Marietta was found dead, slumped over the steering wheel of his Ford Aerostar early Sunday morning on Phillips Drive near Alexander Street. A driver for Micro Taxi for about four months, Juarez had been robbed and shot in the chest.

District attorney spokeswoman Kathy Watkins said that under the law, the youths must be tried as adults because they are charged with crimes that Georgia considers among its most serious, such as felony murder and armed robbery.

Marietta police said robbery was the motive for the killing. But the two teens, who were picked up by Juarez on Claymore Drive in Marietta, did not take all the money from the vehicle. Police spokesman Brian Marshall would not disclose how much cash was taken.

Police developed descriptions of Hernandez and Reyes based on interviews with residents in the Phillips Drive area. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation turned the information into sketches of the youths, Marshall said.

Hernandez and Reyes were arrested at their homes, police said. The teens told police where they had thrown the handgun used in the slaying, Marshall said. A gun was found about 200 yards from where the slaying occurred. It had been tossed into brush along Alexander, Marshall said.

Hernandez and Reyes have claimed gang affiliations. Marshall declined to name the gangs in which the youths claimed membership, saying to do so would give the gangs credibility.

No one was home Wednesday at the Lake Drive apartment where police said Reyes lived with his family. A young girl who answered the door at Hernandez's Hickory Drive home in Acworth said her parents were not home.

Hernandez's parents own a grocery store on Allgood Road in Marietta called Marisol Grocery. A family member answering the phone at the store declined to comment.

Juarez was from Mexico, but had lived in Marietta since 1990. Police said he has cousins in the Marietta area, but his wife lives in Mexico.

I remember talking to his father, who was either in great denial about his son's activities, or just desperate to defend him. He insisted that Miguel "never left the house."

It's obvious that he's made his choice in life. When we did his tribunal, he was asked by a sympathetic teacher if there was anything that he wanted to do with his life - anything that he enjoyed doing. He would not look her in the eyes as he muttered, "Nothing." I suspect that, since they were denying up and down that he had gang affiliation, he could not say, "I want to just hang with my homies and not go to school."

I read in an article somewhere that gang members will serve jail time, and come out with more "street cred" - ready to recruit other members. So, the question is - is this an attempt to "end" his life by going to jail, or just another rung on the gangster career ladder?

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