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Teen accused of shooting dad during dispute over bedtime remains locked up, for now

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 6:50 AM EDT
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FOREST PARK, Ohio (WXIX) - A 15-year-old boy charged with shooting his father during an argument over bedtime and fleeing the state with the gun will remain locked up at the Hamilton County Juvenile Youth Court Detention Center, at least for now.

FOX19 NOW is not naming the teen because he is a minor.

The 8th grader was arraigned Monday morning on charges of felonious assault and auto theft.

His defense attorney, mother and older brother all asked Hamilton County Juvenile Court Magistrate Elizabeth Igoe to release him.

His attorney wanted the teen turned over “to whichever guardian is able to take him today” and noted it was his first contact with the court.

The teen’s older brother agreed, telling the magistrate: ”We just want him to have a good environment around him because (he) is not a bad kid. He just may have had some issues that he was going through but (he) is not a bad kid at all.”

His mother requested that he be permitted to return to her home in Lexington, where police arrested him Thursday hours after the shooting and recovered the gun.

But the teen’s father was firm that he couldn’t return to his home. The teen went there six months ago at his mother’s request, she told the court.

“He can’t stay with me, Your Honor. It’s pretty much self-explanatory to see where I’m at,” the father said, visible on camera in what appeared to be a hospital room with medical equipment where he is still recovering from the shooting. “I feel like these little problems been popping up and up and I feel like it’s a slap on the wrist to let him out right now.”

Magistrate Igoe said it was not possible to release the teen to his mother because she lives out of state due to the nature of the case.

She said the only way she would consider releasing the teen is if there’s a plan with a place for him to stay in Hamilton County. His mother said his late grandfather’s wife might be a possibility.

Igoe set a hearing for later for next week, on Tuesday, May 24, to give his family and attorney an opportunity to return to court with a plan.

Forest Park police say after the teen shot his father once in the stomach early Wednesday, he fled the family home on Holgate Drive before officers arrived. Forest Park police say the teen then stole a vehicle from a local business drove over 100 miles to Lexington.

Forest Park police knew he was heading to his mother’s home and were in constant contact with Lexington police until the boy was in custody, according to Lt. Adam Pape.

It’s still not clear where the teen got the gun, according to police.

“We believe him to be a substantial flight risk and would prefer that he remain locked up,” Pape said Monday.

Hamilton County Assistant Juvenile Court Prosecutor Jon Halvonik asked the court to hold the teen due to the serious nature of the charge

“There are allegations of a firearm being involved, serious physical harm being involved. Your Honor, if the court were to release this defendant the state would have concerns that he may have access to weapons. There were allegations that he fled Hamilton County after this incident and you even heard from the prosecuting witness, or the victim in this case, that problems keep adding up....”

His mom said her son really doesn’t have any other family in Ohio. “He was there to live with his father - I just needed a man at the time to be in his life - the full details of this case have not been exposed. But he has no family support in Cincinnati. None. He doesn’t know any children there, he knows no one besides his dad and his mother. I have not been contacted by anyone from that family at any form of support.”

The magistrate asked the teen what he wanted to say on the issue of bond. He responded that he would like to be bonded out.

“Anyone who uses guns to hurt others should be locked up. Period. Especially those who have proven themselves to be a flight risk,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement to FOX19 NOW after the hearing.

“There is an attitude that juvenile offenders should never be locked up because they are minors. But we have an entire facility specifically designed to house violent juvenile offenders. If someone who shoots their own father and then flees the state isn’t suitable to be detained at the Youth Center, then who is?”

The Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center in Mt. Auburn has 160 beds, but the county only funds it for 80 beds/youth and has “for quite some time,” according to Hamilton County Juvenile Court Administrator Carla Guenthner.

“As of Monday, 72 youth were housed there, which she says is down from the “the population census we’ve been averaging. It is also important to note that it is not uncommon for the Court to exceed 80 youth in our daily population.”

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