A 9-year-old boy had his first appearance in court Tuesday morning for allegedly stabbing his 5-year-old sister multiple times Monday afternoon, according to the Ocala Police Department.
Former judge Belvin Perry believes prosecutors will try the boy as a juvenile, not and adult. If that ends up being the case, the boy will only be sentenced to a fraction of what an adult might get for the same crime.
“The most the juvenile justice system can sentence him is to the age of 21,” Perry said.
Officers around 4:20 p.m. Monday responded to Berkeley Pointe Apartments on Northeast 7th Street in response to a stabbing inside one of the units, according to a news release. There, they located the 5-year-old victim with multiple stab wounds.
The boy’s mother said she was gone for just 10 minutes to pick up the mail and grab some candy for her children from a neighbor. When she returned, she saw her son stab her daughter.
The boy was arrested after being interviewed by detectives, according to a news release. He is being charged with attempted first-degree murder. Police said the boy was “fully aware of what he had done," and that he had stabbed his sister while she was wearing roller skates.
Police said the boy hid the knife behind her back, then “grabbed her by the back of her neck while she was bending over, and began stabbing her.”
The 9-year-old told police he stabbed her because “he wanted to be able to go outside.”
Authorities have indicated there are extenuating circumstances and in thus case we have chosen not to share the mug shot.
Investigators said the boy told them he first thought about killing his sister two days earlier and was unable to get the thought out of his head.
“Disturbing is the word that a lot of people have used,” said Ocala Police spokesperson Corie Byrd.
Channel 9 has chosen not to name or show video or photos of the boy.
The boy ran away after his mother after she took the knife from her hands, she told police. He was located by officers hiding in a nearby maintenance shed a short time later, according to police.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Shaeffer said a mental evaluation is likely the next step following the boy’s initial appearance this morning.
“Certainly, a mental evaluation based upon the statements of the child (will follow), if he had these thoughts about killing her that he could not get out of his head,” Shaeffer said.
The sister is reportedly in stable condition and was able to communicate with officers, telling them she was stabbed with a large black-handled kitchen knife.
“Hopefully in the intervening years, this child will receive the help that this child needs,” Perry said. “If they think they need tougher punishment that goes beyond that cut-off point for juveniles, then they’d take a serious look at whether or not that need to be treated as an adult.”
Ocala residents were stunned to hear the news.
“God, just bless this family and the little girl, and (I) hope she lives through it,” resident Jermaine Williams said.
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