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Tuesday, August 27, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

Hearing Delayed For Suspect In Moses Lake Shooting Deaths

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

EPHRATA - A hearing to determine whether 15-year-old Barry Loukaitis should be tried as a juvenile or an adult in the shootings of two classmates and a teacher has been postponed until Sept. 23.

The Moses Lake teen is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the Feb. 2 shootings at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake. Killed were algebra teacher Leona Caires, and students Manuel Vela Jr. and Arnie Fritz, both 14. He also faces one count of first-degree assault in the wounding of another student.

If convicted of aggravated murder as an adult, Loukaitis would face life in prison without parole, the only sentence allowed under the law. Because of his age, the death penalty is not an option. If convicted as a juvenile, Loukaitis must be released when he turns 21.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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