A fourteen year old boy remains in juvenile court custody tonight, after a judge threw out the teen's confession.
He confessed that he intentionally set fire to his house, killing his mother.
The judge ruled the teen was not properly given his Miranda rights. Now it's up to the judge to decide if he will remain in juvenile court or be tried as an adult.
If he remains in juvenile court he'll be there until the age of nineteen.
If he's tried as an adult, ray could face a maximum of life without parole.
There was a large show of support from family on both sides today. They asked the judge to give the teen help and not try him as an adult. After hearing from several witnesses, Judge Dan Michael ruled there was probable cause. He called Ray's actions aggressive and premeditated.
The judge says there's no fingerprint or video evidence but the timeline shows the teen was the only possible person to set the fire.
The fire burned the staircase, trapping his mother upstairs, and police say Ray disconnected the smoke detector.
The state says Jonathan was angry over new house rules, after he was suspended from school for mis-conduct.
His family says they're aware of mental health issues and say there's hope for him.
Byer says, "With the family that remains here he's got a lot of support, fathers from Detroit; he's got custody and he hasn't seen him as far as I know ever. I'm his life so the compelling feeling of the family here may never come into play if dad says we're going to Michigan it just depends on how it works out."
Gowen says, "he has some mental health problems that's clear out in the open on record now needs some ongoing psychiatric care and if he's put in the DCS custody he can get it."
The state is waiting for its next
witness, a court psychologist who suffered an injury today and couldn't make
the hearing. The court psychologist is extremely important since she's been
treating him since the crime.
The department of justice is observing the case here, to make sure Jonathan receives due process.
Ray does not have a previous criminal record. We also learned he was at the crime scene and watched the blaze. A neighbor said the teen cried after he was asked who was in the home and the boy said his mom was inside.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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