Teen charged in fatal hammer attack will be tried as an adult

Teen charged in fatal hammer attack will be tried as an adult
Vincenzo "Jake" Randazzo, 16, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.(Kenner Police Department)

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - A teenager accused of brutally beating an elderly couple with a hammer will be tried as an adult.

A Jefferson Parish Grand Jury indicted 16-year-old Vincenzo Randazzo Thursday. Randazzo now faces a charge of first degree murder and attempted murder.

The family of Phillip and Anita Lynch wants the teen prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"He brutally attacked innocent people that were trying to help him so, because of that, we all hope that he gets the most severe penalty that he can get," the victim's son, Larry Lynch, said.

Randazzo is accused of beating the elderly couple in their Kenner home with a hammer back in July. 89-year-old Phillip Lynch died a month after the attack. His wife, Anita, is still recovering.

"She is still suffering from some consequences from the attack, double vision, nausea, balance issues, her finger got severed so, she's doing physical therapy to try to overcome all of those injuries," said Lynch. "Anita misses him dearly, of course we all miss him dearly."

Criminal defense attorney Bobby Hjortsberg doesn't represent Randazzo but says because of his age he wouldn't be eligible for the death penalty if he's convicted.

"No juvenile in the United States is eligible for the death penalty pursuant to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court," said Hjortsberg. "A case like this is almost always going to be upgraded to criminal court, he's 16 years old, it's not like he's 12 or 14, he's 16 and the crime is very serious."

Hjortsberg says Randazzo would be eligible for a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, if he's convicted.

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