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Menifee teen accused of killing half brother appears in court

September 17, 2013|By Emily Foxhall and Jason Wells

The detention hearing for a 16-year-old Menifee boy charged with murder in the death of his younger half brother was postponed again Tuesday.

It was the latest in a series of postponed hearings for the boy, who was arrested in July after authorities found the remains of Terry Smith Jr., 11, in a shallow grave near the family’s home.

Riverside County prosecutors said they plan to ask a juvenile court judge to determine whether the teen should be tried as an adult.

His hearing had already been continued in July at the request of defense attorneys. On Tuesday, the judge agreed to put off the hearing to Oct. 23, KTLA reported.

The teen appeared briefly at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta with short-cropped hair and wearing a yellow jumpsuit.

More than 1,000 people, including people representing more than 20 California organizations, helped search for Terry.

PHOTOS: Search for missing Menifee boy

His body was found early on July 10 by a female volunteer whose children spotted the human remains.

Authorities have said the 16-year-old half brother, whom The Times is not identifying because he is a minor, was the last to see Terry. Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Alberto Martinez said the teen told his mother he went for a walk to a nearby market on the evening of July 6, found his younger brother was following him and told him to go back home.

The teen had just completed his sophomore year at Paloma Valley High School.

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emily.foxhall@latimes.com

Twitter: @emfoxhall

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