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Judge: Teen brothers accused of killing NJ girl to stay in juvenile detention

Clayton, N.J. Police Department

Two teenage brothers charged with murdering 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale will remain in juvenile detention, a judge ruled Friday.

A judge ruled Friday that the two teenage boys accused of killing a 12-year-old girl in southern New Jersey will remain in juvenile detention.

Brothers Dante Robinson, 17, and Justin Robinson, 15, were arrested and charged with the murder of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale. In their first court appearance since their arrest, Judge Colleen Maier at the Family Division of Glouster County Superior Court in Woodbury, N.J., determined that the boys should remain detained in the Camden County Youth Center. The boys have been kept at the juvenile detention facility since they were arrested Tuesday.

The boys are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposal of a body, tampering of evidence and theft. Justin Robinson is also charged with one count of luring.

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Glouster County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said he is strongly considering charging the teens as adults instead of juveniles, the South Jersey Times reported. The prosecutor’s office has 30 days from the incident to file a waiver to have them tried as adults, according to Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Jeneby.

Authorities said the younger boy allegedly lured Autumn, who would have turned 13 on Oct. 29, into their home in Clayton, N.J., promising to trade bicycle parts.

Her body was found two days later stuffed into a blue recycling bin behind the brothers’ family home, about five blocks away from Autumn’s house.

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An autopsy conducted by the Glouster County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed Autumn’s cause of death was blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation. Preliminary investigation showed no signs of sexual assault.

Autumn went missing on Saturday after telling her parents she was headed over to a friend’s house around noon. She left on her white BMX bike but never showed up at her friend’s house. Her parents called 911 and reported her missing Saturday night. 

By Monday, the search for Autumn had grown to several hundred people and stretched as far north as New York and as far south as Delaware. That night, the community held a vigil, praying for her safe return. Shortly after, her body was found.

The teens are due back in court for a third detention hearing on Nov. 16. 

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