FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Attorneys for the man accused of killing his parents and then throwing a party are due in court Thursday for a hearing.
Attorneys will ask a judge to dismiss 20-year-old Tyler Hadley's first-degree murder charge for a crime he allegedly committed when he was 17. They want him to face a lesser charge of possibly second-degree murder instead.
Under Florida law, a minor cannot be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that sentencing minors to life in with no chance if parole violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Currently, there is no lawful penalty for juveniles for first-degree murder and Florida lawmakers are expected to review juvenile sentencing matters when the session begins in March.
Hadley has pleaded not guilty to beating his parents to death with a claw hammer in July 2011 and then inviting dozens of teens to a party afterward to the home via Facebook.
Hadley's attorneys said their client was suffering from a mental disease during the killings and will try the insanity defense.
Attorneys argue they can't effectively advise their client, not knowing the penalty he could face.
Jury selection is expected to start March 5.