The Nevada Supreme Court has voted to overturn the juvenile court order declaring an 11-year-old guilty of battery with a deadly weapon and a delinquent child for stabbing another youngster.
The court ruled that the juvenile master failed to prove the sixth grader, identified only as Juan G., wasn't acting in self defense.
The youngster said he took a pocket knife to school that day because two other boys he had already had fights with planned to "jump" him and hurt him. During the altercation, he stabbed one of his attackers with the knife.
According to the court ruling, the state's own witnesses testified supporting Juan's self-defense claims.
"Once this self-defense evidence was presented, the burden of proof then shifted to the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Juan did not act in self-defense," the panel consisting of Justices Bill Maupin, Michael Cherry and Nancy Saitta wrote.
They said the state failed to present any evidence to prove Juan wasn't acting in self-defense, finding that means there is insufficient evidence to sustain a ruling the youngster was a delinquent and guilty of battery with a deadly weapon.