Judge will rule on Aug. 7 whether defendant will be tried as an adult or juvenile

Oliver in court

By Doug Keeler

Midway Driller Editor

Bryan Oliver was 16 years old when he was charged with attempted murder for the shooting of Bowe Cleveland, also 16, in a Taft Union High School classroom on Jan. 10, but he is being charged as an adult.

That is wrong, Oliver's attorney says, and the teen should be tried as a juvenile.

Kern County Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman argued in a Bakersfield courtroom Wednesday to have Oliver tried in the juvenile justice system.

Prosecutors disagreed, however, and opposed the request.

Kern County Superior Court Judge S. Somers is scheduled to rule on Cadman's motion at an Aug. 7 hearing.

Prosecutors wasted no time in deciding that Oliver should be tried as an adult.

Oliver was arrested at the scene of the shooting and four days later, on a Monday morning, Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green announced that her office would seek to try the teen as an adult, where he faces much more severe penalties than in the juvenile court system.

California law, specifically the Welfare and Institutions Code, allows for anyone aged 16 or older to be tried as an adult for very serious felonies.

Oliver was in court on Wednesday for his arraignment, three weeks after a preliminary hearing where the judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to order Oliver to stand trial for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Oliver is being held on $1.5 million bail.

He faces two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.