Four juvenile defendants arrested in an alleged armed robbery last month will remain in “secure detention” while their cases move through the juvenile court system. The defendants were given the choice of remaining in jail — or have their cases immediately transferred to adult court. All of them chose the former.
The action is only temporary. Prosecutors are still reviewing the cases before making a final decision on whether to try any of the four as adults. Status hearings are set for next month.
“You understand what’s going on?” Circuit Court Judge Scott Bernstein said Thursday to one of the four teens. “Your lawyer is working very, very hard for you, to try to keep this case out of the adult court system.”
The fifth defendant, Levare Holton, 18, is set to be arraigned later this month. He is being held without bond, according to court and jail records. He has entered a plea of not guilty. The court entered a “stay away” order barring Holton from having any contact with the alleged victims and to remain away from the vicinity of their homes. A message left for Holton’s attorney was not returned.
Editor’s Note: The Key Biscayne Independent generally does not identify minors charged with crimes unless prosecutors decide to charge them as adults.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.