SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) – Adrian Gonzales was sentenced to the maximum term as a juvenile in the 2015 kidnap and murder of 8-year-old Maddy Middleton.
Gonzales pleaded guilty to all charges, according to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office.
He was 15-years-old when he lured Middleton to his home at the Tannery Arts Complex in 2015.
Her body was later found in a dumpster.
The 21-year-old apologized to her family before his sentencing on Tuesday, April 27th.
Legislation prohibiting 14 and 15-year-olds from being tried as adults means Gonzales, who was 15 at the time of the crime, could be released when he turns 25.
After subsequent legal challenges, the State Supreme Court upheld SB 1391’s constitutionality in a February ruling, clearing the way for Gonzalez’s case to proceed this month.
In adult court, Gonzalez could have faced two consecutive life prison sentences for murder, kidnapping, sexual penetration, two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and intercourse with a minor, plus misdemeanor destruction of evidence