Juvenile That Shot and Killed Jaden Krauss to Stay in Juvenile Detention

CENTRALIA — The Illinois Department of Juvenile Corrections has decided against the release of a 15-year-old Centralia male who shot and killed 13-year-old Jaden Krauss at a Centralia home in May.

Krauss’ family and Marion County State’s Attorney Bill Milner attended a hearing last month to protest the release of the juvenile after he’d served just over five months of a five-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for Jaden’s death.

Nearly 12,000 people signed a petition online at Change.org against the teen’s release.

The petition notes that evidence presented in court showed that after the juvenile helped other juveniles present drag a critically wounded Jaden Krauss onto a porch in the rain, that he was caught on camera attempting to bribe the victim to not to tell anyone who shot him.

Prosecutors informed the judge that two blood-soaked towels were hidden in the corner of the room where the shooting had occurred and a blood-covered rug was rolled up and placed in another room.

Video recorded questioning of other juveniles present at the time of the shooting revealed a group of teens gathered at the home had been playing a type of Russian roulette, where the defendant reportedly left one live bullet in a gun before pointing the gun at his own head.

They said the defendant repeated the process at another teen in the house before pointing the gun at Krauss, and shooting him in the head when the weapon fired.

The juvenile, however, said the weapon accidentally fired when he was cleaning the gun.

The defendant said he threw the gun off the balcony of the home, but it was never located and evidence showed it was likely removed and hidden.

Judge Ericka Sanders sentenced the juvenile to five years in the Juvenile Department of Corrections – the maximum sentence allowed — after listening to nearly four hours of aggravating and mitigating testimony.

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