WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — The family of a Warren murder victim is speaking out after a judge decided the 17-year-old suspect would be tried as an adult.

Richard Raymond, 54, died in 2021 after police said he was struck in the head with an aluminum bat.

Warren police responded to the intersection of Market and Sanders streets on Aug. 26 for a disturbance between two men. Police found Raymond on the ground suffering from severe head injuries, succumbing to his injuries two and a half weeks later.

Police arrested 17-year-old Kenzie Nicolson in February 2022 for allegedly murdering Raymond, the case initially being filed in Providence Family Court. Raymond’s sister Anne-Marie Meigges told 12 News they believe the judge’s decision to try Nicolson as an adult is warranted.

“I understand it’s tough to see a child like that but if you’re a child and you’re going to do an adult action then you need to pay the price of an adult action,” Meigges said.

Meigges and Raymond’s niece, Nikki St. Sauveur, said they have had a tough year enduring the loss.

“Every morning, I used to text him ‘Good morning,'” Meigges said. “Every night I used to text him ‘Good night’ and I go to get my phone and I can’t do it.”

Nicolson’s lawyer, John MacDonald, said his client acted in self-defense and they hope to prove that in court.

“We are certainly disappointed that the matter did not stay in the family court given the unique circumstances of this case,” MacDonald said. “But it is not surprising given the seriousness of the case and given the lack of time that the family court has jurisdiction over Kenzie up until his 19th birthday.”

According to MacDonald, Raymond and Nicolson’s father were in an employment dispute when Nicolson heard the fighting and came downstairs. MacDonald claims Nicolson saw an individual threatening his father with a knife and reacted in self-defense, striking Raymond on the head with a bat.

“The undisputed facts, in this case, are that Richard Raymond out of nowhere unprovoked started yelling and screaming at James Nicolson about an employment dispute,” MacDonald said.

Nicolson was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge in 6th District Court in Providence. According to the court clerk’s office, Nicolson posted bail at $50,000 with surety. No word yet on when Nicolson is due back in court.