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Juvenile being charged as adult for alleged armed pot theft

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A juvenile alleged to have robbed a Campbell family of their medical marijuana plants at gunpoint on August 25 is being charged as an adult, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has announced.

Seventeen-year-old Stanford Hauser was one of three people reportedly caught in the act of stealing several marijuana plants by the homeowner, but Hauser was the one holding an AK-47 and making threats, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Hauser and his two alleged accomplices – Jules Duc, 21, and Duc’s girlfriend Breanna Pucine, 22 – are facing serious criminal charges in connection with the incident. According to police, 25 branches of the medical marijuana were located in their car when they were stopped by authorities a few blocks from the victims’ residence. Pucine’s 10-month-old daughter was in the car as well, strapped in a car seat.

According to the Mercury News, Hauser has been charged with second-degree robbery, but with a gun enhancement, he could be facing an additional 10 years in prison if convicted. The Mercury also reports Hauser is being charged with threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury, also with a gun enhancement, and one count of possessing an assault weapon.

The Mercury News spoke with attorneys on both sides of the aisle.

“With the multiple counts and tacking the enhancement on twice, that’s getting to the point of ridiculous,” Hauser's attorney Al Lopez said.

But prosecutor Michel Amaral believes the charges are just.

“A robbery that is committed with an AK-47 is a case to me that has a high gravity of harm and is typical of the type of crime committed by an adult,” he told the Mercury.

Hauser’s alleged accomplices are also facing serious charges – second degree robbery and threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury.

Pucine is also being charged with endangering or injuring the health of a child, but according to the Mercury, she claimed to have been unaware she was aiding and abetting her friends in the commission of a robbery.

The Mercury News obtained a copy of a letter of apology Pucine wrote, which read, in part: “My biggest and most important priority should’ve should’ve been the safety of my child. I deeply, deeply regret ever partaking in the events of this evening.”

The district attorney’s office has charged 11 minors as adults in criminal cases by the so far this year, the Mercury News reports.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Lance Daugherty told the Mercury News that the decision to charge minors as adults is made by a team of senior prosecutors, who weigh a series of factors, such as the age of the defendant, criminal history, and seriousness of the offense. In addition, prosecutors consider if the services available in juvenile court for the specific minor would be adequate.

Hauser faces a minimum of 12 years in state prison if convicted.