Santa Cruz

Second Arraignment for Teen Accused of Killing Santa Cruz Girl Delayed

The second arraignment for a teen accused in the violent death of an 8-year-old Santa Cruz girl has been pushed back to February of next year.

Adrian Gonzalez, who is charged with raping and killing Madyson "Maddy" Middleton in July 2015, was set to be tried as an adult, but his defense attorney on Tuesday announced plans to appeal that decision.

"I believe the decision to send my client to adult court is not supported by the totality of the evidence, which clearly shows, in my opinion, that the minor, now the defendant, is compliant, motivated and amenable to treatment," defense attorney Larry Biggam said.

Gonzalez previously pleaded not guilty to murder before it was decided that he would be tried as an adult. He is slated to return to court on Feb. 20, 2018.

Bruce Jordan, Middleton's grandfather, said he wasn't surprised about the latest move in the case.

"That's the way our legal system in this country works," he said. "It goes round and round and round. But I think there's enough evidence. The justice will occur."

The teen accused of raping and killing an 8-year-old Santa Cruz girl is slated to be arraigned Tuesday morning. Kris Sanchez reports.

Middleton's family, who sat through two months of agonizing and stressful testimony, agreed in October that Gonzalez should be tried as an adult, which could mean life in prison if he is convicted.

During an October hearing, the prosecution painted Gonzalez as a cold, calculating killer. Gonzalez's confession to police was read during the hearing. In it, he said he lured Middleton into his apartment with ice cream before raping and killing her.

The defense portrayed Gonzalez as socially awkward and suicidal. Attorneys said he has autism and argued he can be rehabilitated.

Middleton's family said if Gonzalez is released, they believe he would kill again.

NBC Bay Area's Anser Hassan contributed to this report.

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