Yesterday, I was at the Duval County Regional Juvenile Detention Center. This is jail for Jacksonville juvenile delinquents. The children that are not released to their parents or placed on home detention stay in this detention center while their court cases are pending. There are children in this Florida juvenile jail that are being held for different criminal charges. They may have been arrested for Jacksonville possession of marijuana or possession of cocaine. They could have a violation of probation in Jacksonville. They may have serious charges, such as Jacksonville armed robbery or murder.
Christian Fernandez is the most high profile juvenile delinquent case in the media at this time. Fernandez is only 13-years-old and was 12-years-old at the time of his arrest for a Jacksonville murder charge. He is also facing unrelated sexual battery charges. Fernandez is the youngest child to be charged as an adult with first-degree murder.
The Duval County juvenile detention facility is likely holding another juvenile that has recently been in the media. On July 9, 2012, police arrested three young men in Jacksonville Beach. They are being charged with Jacksonville armed robbery. While two of the men are adults, ages 18 and 19, the other is only 17-years-old. Although he is a juvenile, he will likely appear in adult court with his co-defendants.
The Florida Times Union reported that “Jeremy Claude Wright of Chestnut Oak Drive East, Travis Devon Couser of Biscayne Boulevard and an unnamed juvenile were found at the McDonald’s at 51 3rd St. S. by police and charged with home invasion robbery, according to their arrest reports.” Reports state that there are Jacksonville concealed weapons charges. They must mean charges for Jacksonville carrying a concealed firearm, since the weapons were guns.
The three men are accused of approaching a hotel guest from behind, pushing him on the floor, and putting guns in his face. “The trio stole his wallet with $1,000 in cash, credit cards, cell phone and keys, then fled past the hotel pool.” The Florida Times Union further stated:
“Hotel security camera video shows three men hiding in an alcove as the victim arrives at his room, then running after him as they grab for something in their waistbands, the reports said. Based on descriptions from the security video, police found the suspects at the McDonald’s about an hour later. All three tried to run but were caught. Handguns were found on the teen and Couser, and a third weapon was found near Wright. Two of the guns had their serial numbers filed off, police said. The suspects also had the victim’s driver’s license, credit cards and cash.”
The Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer on this case will be looking at everything for a defense to this armed robbery charge. The evidence against the defendants would not make any Jacksonville criminal defense attorney’s job easy. The clarity and quality of the video may not be good enough to lead to a conviction. The fact that the boys were in possession of guns and tried to run from police could certainly a jury to believe that these boys committed the burglary. The worse part is that the defendants were in possession of the victim’s property. I am sure there will be other developments in the case that will either help or hurt the defense.
Since actual possession of firearms were involved, this is falls under Florida’s 10-20-Life Statute. This Florida gun law creates minimum mandatory sentences for those that possession firearms while committing crimes. These young men may be eligible for Florida’s Youthful Offender sentencing due to their ages. Their Jacksonville criminal lawyer will have to plead for this at sentencing.