D.A. doesn't think certification will keep teens from committing adult crimes

Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra

Marquez Alvarado has to grow up fast.

Court documents show that Alvarado was 16 years-old when he allegedly grabbed a gun, jumped into his father TMs pick up and shot at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Kelton Harrison in July of 2012.

Now 17, Alvarado has been certified as an adult and is no longer under the protection of juvenile laws. But it will ultimately come down to what happens to his father Pedro and older brother Arnoldo in Federal Court that could seal the teens fate.

"Do you go after the followers of a gang more harshly than the leader? Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra questioned. No. You go after the leader who manipulates and decides and makes decisions. This is where the father comes in and that'll decide what we do with the case."

Guerra told Action 4 News that Alvarado is certified as an adult because he can make his own decisions.

"Now the question is going to be, what consequences we feel we should recommend under the circumstances," Guerra said.

Alvarado is just one of many teens accused of adult crimes in Hidalgo County.

In April of 2012 a 15-year-old from Palmview was taken into custody for allegedly killing 9 illegal immigrants and injuring several more during a smuggling attempt.

His certification hear has been postponed numerous times.

As to whether Alvarado TMs certification will serve as wake-up call to all of those juveniles committing adult crimes?

Guerra does not think it will.

"People are going to be people, Guerra started. Whether you tell them and try to prompt them to do the right thing"they will do what they want. Even adults do the wrong thing. They're not going to change."

If Alvarado is convicted of attempted murder, he could face up to 20 years in prison.