The mother of a teenager killed in Manchester speaks out after the arrest of a minor and calls for stricter laws for minors

MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) – Zaniya Wright’s family are seeking justice after the 13-year-old was killed in Manchester in June.

While police have charged a 14-year-old boy in connection with Wright’s death, his family believes more needs to be done to strengthen juvenile laws.

Zaniya Wright (photo provided by family)

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Wright’s mother, Marissa Boose-Barrett, spoke exclusively to News 8. Boose-Barrett said she’s hopeful change can happen.

Boose-Barrett doesn’t feel like he’s gotten justice yet. After a months-long investigation, Manchester Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with Wright’s death. He faces a number of charges, including murder and sexual assault.

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“You have to do all these things to my daughter and then you’re going to be free, in what, 18 to 30 months?” It’s just not right, it’s just not right,” Boose-Barrett said.

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That’s why she thinks more needs to be done to hold underage suspects accountable. She says now is the time to act.

Boose-Barrett is calling for tougher laws for minors, especially after what’s unfolded across the state. She is one of many pushing for action as there continues to be an increase in crime involving young people.

“They have to go to the drawing board and they have to solve this problem. They need to consider charging these minors appropriately,” Boose-Barrett said.

Boose-Barrett is not alone in her calls to action. A Farmington police officer crashed into his cruiser while trying to arrest a man in a stolen car in September said he did not fire his gun at the suspect because he was afraid of him do, on the basis of the laws in force.

“There is no doubt that when the Accountability Act was put in place it was a playbook for criminals,” said Constable James O’Donnell. “There were things mentioned in there that they know we can’t do now.”

Boose-Barrett also thinks early intervention is key.

“Why don’t we do something before this happens, before someone has to lose their life,” Boose-Barrett said.

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Boose-Barrett hopes that by taking these steps, tragedies like the one she and her family experienced won’t happen to anyone else.

“I hope no other family has to go through this because I have to go on living without my daughter, and he can be here. It’s just messed up,” Boose-Barrett said.

The teenager charged in the case is currently being held at Hartford Juvenile Detention Center.

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