GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A 16-year-old accused of killing a grandmother and her 7-year-old grandson will appear before a judge in a detention hearing on May 12, according to the 3rd District Attorney General Dan Armstrong.
Assistant Public Defender Todd Estep, who declined to comment on the case, is representing the juvenile, Armstrong revealed to News Channel 11.
Estep waived the right for his client to have the detention hearing within 72 hours of being charged.
The district attorney general also said that the state has filed motions for the undisclosed charges to be moved to adult court. These charges will not be announced until a grand jury convenes and announces what the suspect is officially charged with.
Armstrong said crime’s brutality led to his desire to charge the teen suspect as an adult.
“The severity of the crime and the gruesomeness of it,” said Armstrong. “Moving it out of juvenile court means the punishment more fits the crime.”
If the suspect is convicted and sentenced in adult court and not juvenile court, the juvenile could face a hefty sentence.
“If transferred to adult court, the only thing off the table for a minor is the death penalty. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. I would have the option to ask for life without parole. That’s still available to ask for a juvenile,” said Armstrong.
The transfer hearing will be set during the May 12 detention hearing. The minor is being housed in the Sevier County Detention Center, according to Judge Kenneth Bailey.
On Tuesday, News Channel 11 obtained documents that detailed the late Sunday night incident at a Chuckey home on Old Snapps Ferry Rd. Greene County Sheriff’s Department deputies found 59-year-old Sherry Cole and 7-year-old Jessie Allen dead outside the home after midnight on Monday.
Officers noticed “puddles of blood” next to a parked car and assorted bloody tools at the scene, according to the case narrative authored by a deputy who responded to the incident, and police took a juvenile into custody.
Even though two witnesses and another “suspect” are listed as being on the scene the night of the double homicide in Greene County’s initial police report, DA Armstrong says only the juvenile is facing charges at this time.
“There’s many times when an officer first gets on the scene that you have to consider anybody there a suspect. The fact the alluded to more than one suspect may mean that there may be other people charged or it may mean after investigation they discovered there was only one true suspect of the two originally under suspicion,” said Armstrong.
A motive for the crime has not been released. The TBI continues their investigation into the double homicide.