MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Monday morning a judge announced Gonzalo Curiel, accused of abusing and killing two children in 2015, will be tried as an adult.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting Curiel, along with co-defendant Tami Huntsman, in one of the worst cases of child abuse in Salinas history.
Being tried as an adult, Curiel faces life in prison.
Curiel was 17 when he was charged. He is not eligible for the death penalty because he was a minor when the alleged crimes were committed.
Huntsman and Curiel are charged with murder, felony child abuse and three counts of torture. The charges come with special circumstances that made Huntsman eligible for the death penalty.
The companions are accused of abusing and killing Delylah Tara, 3, and Shaun Tara, 6, and then dumping their bodies in a plastic bin in a Redding storage facility.
They are also accused of abusing the children's older sister, who was found in Plumas County.
California's Prop 57 is the law that calls for a judge to decide whether to try a juvenile as young as 14 in adult court. Voters approved the proposition in November 2016.
Tami Huntsman's pretrial is scheduled for this week.