Over the past 2 weeks, police departments throughout the South have been on the lookout for two teens in the midst of a crime spree. The suspects, an 18-year-old and his 13-year-old girlfriend, are drawing comparisons to Bonnie and Clyde, a Great Depression-era couple who traveled the country committing crimes.
Finally, early on Sunday morning, the teens were arrested in Panama City, Florida, after having been found sleeping in a stolen vehicle.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that the age of the suspects has sensationalized the story; that said, the fact that they are both teenagers, and that one of them is a minor (at 13 years old) complicates the story and may impact the impending legal proceedings.
The two teens from Kentucky were originally reported missing on January 3rd of this year. While both of the suspects are alleged to have committed various crimes throughout multiple states, focus will most likely be shifted onto the elder, the 18-year-old man who, while still a teenager, is five years older than his accomplice girlfriend and a legal adult.
Upon being arrested, the male was taken to the Bay County Jail, whereas his younger girlfriend was placed in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given her age. Eventually, if all goes according to plan, authorities will try to extradite the teens to Kentucky, where they’ll both face a number of felony charges.
The widespread search, which made headlines around the country, was kicked off after the 13-year-old girl’s father reported her missing. Apparently, the night before before going out on their crime spree, the couple stayed at the 18-year-old’s home; his mother believed that the girlfriend was 19-years-old, according to reports, despite her actually being 13-years-old.
The fact that the 13-year-old is five years younger than her partner in crime may bode well in her favor when it comes to her legal defense. As our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert expect, the girl’s criminal defense team will use her age (and thus her related naivete) as a point of defense. Of the two teenage criminals, she was by far the younger one and was undoubtedly influenced (either pressured directly or indirectly) by her older boyfriend, a legal adult. Her age is already a factor, having determined that she be placed in child protective services as opposed to jail, where her boyfriend was sent after the two were arrested yesterday in Florida.
If you have any questions about this interesting story, or if you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert to schedule a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363). We look forward to speaking with you.