GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — A 16-year-old boy accused of killing his little brother and grandmother with a hammer in April will be tried as an adult, according to an Oct. 11 Greene County Juvenile Court order.
Documents identify the double-first-degree homicide suspect as Jordan Allen, who police believe killed 7-year-old Jessie Allen and 59-year-old Sherry Cole. New documents detail testimony that the 16-year-old disliked his brother and “didn’t like playing with him.”
Jessie had been a first-grade student at Fall Branch Elementary.
Original reports from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) revealed authorities responded to a home in the 7100 block of Old Snapps Ferry Road in Chuckey on April 24 just before midnight and found the bodies of Jessie and Cole near bloody tools. Investigators in May described their deaths as “premeditated and intentional.”
“The actions of the juvenile defendant are especially shocking and especially heinous given the fact that the juvenile defendant committed these acts with a hammer,” the court order states. “Both victims were smaller and weaker than the juvenile defendant.”
A two-day hearing on Sept. 29 and Oct. 7 included testimony from eight witnesses, as well as 21 exhibits.
Testimony during that hearing revealed DCS had assigned a Youth Villages worker to Allen’s home to work “with the juvenile defendant on de-escalation techniques, coping skills and developed a safety plan for the family” from September to December 2021. This came after the juvenile suspect had allegedly left his grandparents’ home “on four different occasions and was unsupervised.” Following the sessions, the DCS worker reportedly closed the case on March 31, 2022.
“Both DCS and Youth Villages appear to have provided needed services to the juvenile defendant and his family, however the treatment was not effective given the fact within 30 days of the closure of the DCS case, the juvenile defendant is alleged to have killed his grandmother and his younger brother,” the court order states.
Allen is reportedly not committable to an institution for the developmentally disabled or mentally ill.
The document provided a background of Allen, who was allegedly dropped off by a parent to spend a few days at his grandparents’ house and never picked up. This reportedly occurred three or four years ago.
The court order details that neither of Allen’s parents was involved with him at the time of the offense.
District Attorney General Dan Armstrong with the 3rd Judicial District filed motions to try Allen as an adult in April. Armstrong told News Channel 11 in a previous interview that the only sentencing off the table for the juvenile suspect is the death penalty; however, prosecutors will have the option to request life without parole.
“I am pleased with the judge’s decision to transfer the juvenile defendant to be tried as an adult,” Armstrong told News Channel 11 on Tuesday. “As the case now moves forward in the criminal court, we will make decisions in regards to requested sentencing at the appropriate time.”
Allen’s bond, upon the case’s transfer from juvenile to criminal court, is set at $800,000. The juvenile suspect has been detained in the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Center since April. The State of Tennessee, Allen’s legal counsel and the judge will discuss the possibility of transferring him to an adult detention facility “separate and removed from adult detainees.” Officials aim to have that decision made by Oct. 24.
Allen’s arraignment that was originally set for Nov. 30 at 8:30 a.m. was pushed back to Jan. 13 at 9 a.m.