Dad outraged after man who murdered woman when he was 12 is freed

The father of the woman who Demarco Harris killed when he was 12 years old said the killer shouldn't have been set free just because he turned 21.

Steven Babcock gave heart-wrenching testimony in court last week, asking that his daughter's killer not be freed on his 21st birthday. Demarco Harris was 12 when he shot Trisha Babcock to death in 2009.

"My daughter's rights and her life were taken and given to Demarco Harris," Babcock said.

Detroit man convicted of murdering woman at 12 years old set free

Monday marks the 21st birthday of Demarco Harris, the day he was scheduled to be released after being convicted of killing Trisha when he was just 12 years old during a robbery in Detroit. Babcock was shut three times while sitting in her car in August of 2009.

"He left her there to die. She didn't die instantly," Babcock said. "She was still alive, bleeding profusely and gasping for air."

Harris was convicted of felony murder, assault with intent to commit murder, and felony firearm. He was 13 when he was convicted and sentenced.

Judge Virgil C. Smith ruled Friday that during his almost 8 years behind bars, DeMarco Harris has been successfully rehabilitated and will not return to prison, and instead will be released Monday. With Harris's 21st birthday on Monday, his sentence as a juvenile has maxed out. A judge had to revisit the case Friday after a 2012 Supreme Court ruling declared it cruel and unusual for those who committed crimes as a minor to be automatically sentenced to life in prison.

"I never thought that rehab would make such an impact on my life," he said.

He noted that he had participated in workshops with universities, earned certificates and took 9 weeks of culinary arts. He says he earned his GED and enrolled in college.

Babcock disagrees that Harris is rehabilitated.

"No I don't think he's rehabilitated. Nobody should be granted rehabilitation after they murder somebody," he said.

Harris' therapist calls him low-risk and a model prisoner who didn't understand the gravity of what he was doing when he was 12. Babcock says that moment turned Harris from a child to a man.

"The day he took that gun and went to my daughter's car and pointed it in my daughter's face was the day that he became an adult," he said.

Babcock says he plans to file civil suit and wants everyone in Detroit to know who Harris is and what he's done.

"The public needs to know about this and be aware that there is a convicted murderer who is walking the streets of Detroit," Babcock said "And they need to know about the justice system and the flaws of the justice system."

Babcock adds that he hopes the other man with Demarco Harris that night will be charged more seriously.

Harris' attorney would not comment on Monday and FOX 2 was unable to reach his family. 

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