Teen accused in Brighton Heights funeral shooting to be tried in adult court

PITTSBURGH — The images of bullets flying outside a funeral are ones the North Side community never forgets. Hezekiah Nixon is charged with opening fire on that funeral and a murder on Brighton Place.


But at the time of both, he was just 16 years old.

“He’s a mature kid that had a lot going on early on in his life, he’s got two heavy cases against him and ultimately no matter the outcome of those cases he will still be a strong young man,” said Casey White who is Nixon’s Attorney.

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White was hopeful that Judge Sizemore would decertify those cases moving Nixon back to juvenile court, but ultimately she denied that motion.

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“Disappointed, we were optimistic, in the court hearing a few weeks ago. Judge Sizemore seemed to put a lot of thought into it and struggled with some of the factors she had to consider,” White said.

In fact, the judge told the open courtroom that she feels there are no good options for someone like Nixon who’s still young but facing truly heavy charges. She said her only options were to leave him in juvenile court, and he’d be out by the end of the year or move him to adult where he faces a chance at life in prison.

“Juvenile justice here in Pennsylvania…I don’t want to say it’s broken but there could be some additions to it like sentencing agreements with adult court,” White said.

White said now they will focus on trials for these criminal charges with the first being the Brighton Place murder.

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