FORT WORTH — On the first day back to school for thousands of North Texas children, two Fort Worth teens were in a courtroom instead of a classroom.
They learned Monday they will be charged as adults for the murder of 17-year-old Eric Forrester last April.
It was a crime that has devastated three families while sending shock waves through the community.
Clifton Elliot is one of the accused teens. His family has only seen him in court or juvenile detention for the last four months. It's the same story for the mother of Broderick Patterson, the other suspect in the Forrester case.
A judge on Monday certified Elliot and Patterson as adults, meaning they will be transferred to the Tarrant County Jail.
"The case will be transferred to the adult criminal courts; it will go through the review and indictment process just like any other adults-only offense would," said Assistant District Attorney Riley Shaw.
Eric Forrester was killed in April when he interrupted a burglary at his house in Fort Worth.
Police said Elliot and Patterson stole two laptop computers and shot Forrester in the back of the head.
Forrester phoned 911 moments before the fatal confrontation, which was captured on the audio recording of the call.
Patterson and Elliot accuse one another of pulling the trigger, but prosecutors say that distinction may not matter; they both face capital murder charges for being part of the crime that led to Forrester's death.
"The court's ruled and we will go forward under the law," Shaw said.
The accused teens cannot face the death penalty if convicted; the maximum sentence would be life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
The Forrester family said they would have no comment on the case until there is a conviction.