ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) -- A Roswell judge concluded Friday that the 12-year-old boy accused of opening fire in his middle school gym and injuring two students is competent to stand trial.
State District Judge Freddie Romero presided over a brief hearing for the boy, who is too young to be tried as an adult. Romero set another hearing for the end of April and ordered that the boy be held in Bernalillo County after prosecutors raised concerns about keeping him in a juvenile detention facility near Roswell.
It could be June before the case goes to trial, but the boy's attorneys said they are hoping to avoid trial by reaching an agreement with prosecutors to resolve the case.
The boy faces three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for the Jan. 14 shooting at Berrendo Middle School. During Friday's hearing, his attorneys denied the charges on his behalf.
A 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were seriously wounded when the defendant allegedly fired a shotgun that he had taken to school in a duffel bag. Authorities have said a teacher at the school talked the shooter into dropping the shotgun.
After a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of the boy was completed in January, he was transferred from an Albuquerque psychiatric facility to a juvenile center.
Family members of the boy wept as he was brought into court Friday afternoon. The victims' family members also attended the hearing.
The boy would be tried as a juvenile. Under New Mexico law, the state can charge minors as adults only if they are at least 14.
The Associated Press is not identifying the boy because of his age.
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