Teen accused in savage 'Knock Out' beating death won't be tried in criminal court

An Onondaga County Grand Jury heard eyewitness testimony in the case of the May 23 beating death of Michael Daniels outside a Syracuse corner store by teens playing a "street game" called "knock out."

The Onondaga County District Attorney's office says the panel determined that there was reasonable cause to believe the 15-year-old did commit conduct that caused the death of Daniels, but voted to have his case dealt with in family court.

The District Attorney, in a statement, said his office "is not allowed to prosecute a 15-year-old juvenile as an adult in criminal court for the offense of Manslaughter Second Degree and that confidentiality laws prohibit identifying a juvenile whose case will proceed in Family Court."

Had the crime against Daniels been carried out by someone over the age of 16, prosecutors would be able to move forward in criminal court.

One week after the crime, Syracuse Police announced the arrest of two city teens ages 13 and 15.

Michael Daniels was beaten to death outside the Los Amigos Market near the corner of West Brighton and Cannon Streets on Friday, May 23. In annoucing the arrests, authorities revealed the teens were playing a 'street game' that is already a problem in other cities. The goal of the "Knock Out" game is to knock an unsuspecting victim out after targeting them.

The Grand Jury's action ends involvement by the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office. The case will be prosecuted by the Onondaga County Law Department and adjudicated in Onondaga County Family Court.