A 15-year-old male sent earlier this year to a juvenile rehabilitation facility has been permanently released and is able to return to his family.
In Highland County Juvenile Court in April, the teen admitted to felony misuse of a credit card and was ordered to complete programming at a residential facility.
On Monday, a representative of the facility said that the teenager’s case had been an “unusual” one in that the 15-year-old didn’t have an extensive criminal history, or a history of drug use, so narrowing down the motivation for the boy’s behavior “took some time,” he said.
But things were figured out, the representative said, and the teenager has been able to work through some previously unresolved issues. He said the boy’s mother has also “worked very hard” to help her son through the process.
The mother thanked everyone involved “for caring for (her son) when (she) couldn’t,” and for getting him the help that she was unable to recognize that he needed.
To judge Kevin Greer the teen said, “I just want to go home, your honor.”
Greer said he wanted the 15-year-old to remember what he had learned and to let that continue into the future.
“Our goal is to make sure this fix is permanent,” Greer said. He told the teen that if he needed help, to ask for it.
Greer said he was “pleased” to see the teen’s success, and added, “It’s up to you now.”
The 15-year-old will be on community control indefinitely, and a suspended commitment to the Department of Youth Services that was ordered in April remains in place. Additionally, the teenager must engage in aftercare counseling.
In other hearings, a 13-year-old girl admitted to being truant, but things took a turn after the hearing was complete as the mother was arrested on a warrant and Children Services was called in to take over the teenager.
For her admission, the 13-year-old was ordered by the court to attend school without any further unexcused absences or tardies.
Assistant prosecutor Molly Bolek said the teen had 19 unexcused absences so far this year.
As there was an outstanding warrant for the arrest of the mother, a sheriff’s deputy was standing by and took her into custody following her daughter’s hearing. Children Services was called to collect the teenager, who also has another pending case in the court.
In an emergency hearing, an order of the court put temporary custody of a 4- and 5-year-old with Children Services following the children’s removal on Friday.
According to the complaint filed, the children have been in the legal custody of family members, with the order that the children’s parents were not to live in the home. But, the complaint states, not only were both parents found to be living in the home, but by the mother’s admission, were also using drugs. The document indicates that the custody arrangement previously authorized by the court has been terminated.
Further hearings have been set on the matter.
A 17-year-old will spend the next couple weeks in detention after admitting to violating his community control by testing positive for marijuana.
The male teenager was previously placed on community control earlier this year after admitting to marijuana possession, school truancy, and attempted theft.
In another case, 13-year-old boy put on probation last December for misdemeanor theft and disorderly conduct offenses admitted to violating his supervision. According to the court, the violations were actions that resulted in his suspension from school.
Another hearing is set to determine what the court will require of the boy for violating his probation.
A 15-year-old male admitted to misdemeanor theft and was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service.
He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, and at the victim’s request to remain at least 500 feet away from them at all times.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.