AMELIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Details continue to unravel surrounding the death of 16-year-old Lucas Hanna, who was shot in Amelia County last month. Now, the 17-year-old suspect who was previously charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with Hanna’s death, is being charged with murder.
“The charges should have been initially brought as a higher charge,” Amelia County Commonwealth Attorney Lee Harrison told 8News on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
Harrison told 8News that after further investigation into the deadly shooting of Hanna on July 2, it was clear to his office this was murder, not manslaughter.
He said it’s why the charges against the 17-year-old suspect have now been upgraded from voluntary manslaughter to murder. The teen also faces charges of brandishing a weapon, obstruction and more.
Harrison said his office wanted to move quickly as more evidence became clear.
“It was a quick decision because they wanted to make sure they got an arrest before anything else happened,” Harrison said.
When 8News asked about what led to the upgraded charges, authorities said they preferred to not talk about the details in an open investigation.
Amelia County deputies responded to the 4000 block of Richmond Road on the night of July 2 for a reported accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police. At the scene, deputies found Hanna with an injury to his right shoulder from the incident.
Investigators later said Hanna did not shoot himself. Instead, Hanna’s friend, now identified as the 17-year-old suspect, was arrested in late July.
From the start of the police’s investigation, Hanna’s mother has never believed her son shot himself.
“A mother knows her child. He knew gun safety. I just trust that justice is going to be served and hopefully he’ll have time to realize what he did and feel remorse,” Hanna’s mother, Jennifer Wallace, told 8News.
The preliminary hearing for the case is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 8. Harrison told 8News he plans to request that the teenage suspect be tried as an adult.