A juvenile court in Memphis Tennessee has found probable cause that a 14-year-old boy intentionally set a fire that killed his mother. Because the juvenile Jonathan Ray is charged with first-degree murder, authorities have identified the juvenile in documents and in open court. The Commercial Appeal reports that Special Judge Dan Michael told Jonathan Ray on Wednesday that he believes the death was “premeditated and aggressive,” with gasoline used to set a fire on stairs that led to his mother’s second-floor bedroom. Shelby County prosecutors have accused Ray of seeking revenge on his mother Gwendolyn Wallace, who had punished him for misbehaving. But Ray’s attorney Robert Gowen said Ray suffers from mental illness, remains on medication for depression, and needs treatment, not jail.
If he is found guilty and remains in the juvenile system, the judge can place him in a secured facility in state custody and order him detained until age 19. However, the state Department of Children’s Services decides if minors can leave custody early for good behavior. If that happens, Ray could be released in as little as 15 months. Ray also could be transferred to adult court on a charge of first-degree murder in the perpetration of felony aggravated arson.
If your child has been charged with a crime contact the Arizona criminal defense lawyers at Oracle Law Group for assistance with your juvenile case.