Teens face involuntary manslaughter charges in death of 13-year-old bullying victim


RIVERSIDE (CNN) – A California teen charged in the beating death of a classmate appeared in court Wednesday.

He is one of two male teens facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 13-year-old classmate identified only as Diego.

The vide of Diego being punched by two classmates at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley was shocking to many.

But the attorney for one of the boys now in juvenile custody says what happened that day last month was not unusual for the school.

“A culture was developed that fighting was just part of life there. It happened there all the time,” said attorney David Wohl.

And that’s why Wednesday morning, he denied the charges against his client, who is also 13-years-old.

The boy’s attorney says he wants the school to turn over records of bullying because he says his client has also been a victim in the past and that’s why he thinks the school district is partly to blame for this tragedy.

“Most of the time thankfully no one dies, but the school lost control. The school allowed this culture to fester and one child is dead because of it,” said Wohl.

The other suspect in this case will be arraigned Oct. 5.

The teens cannot be charged as adults because they are under the age of 15.

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