4 people ages 14 to 20 are in jail charged with a murder that investigators say happened in mid-January.
Carlos Mack, was the final suspect arrested for the death of Deivante McFadden. Earlier this month, McFadden was found shot in a car on Winston Way.
17-year-old Rian Stone, 14-year-old Janiah sullivan and 20-year-old Ebonee Jones are also behind bars facing murder charges in this case.
NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne talked to a Devon Harris who works with at risk teens. He started Full Circle Refuge about 20 years ago when he retired from the military. The mission of the faith-based organization is to help at risk kids avoid a life of crime.
Harris explained the Seven Deadly Sins Law in Georgia that requires minors be charged as adults for certain crimes. He says many people are not familiar with the law.
“A lot of parents don’t know, a lot of educators know about that law, even the students that sometimes I talk to about the Seven Deadly Sins law they do not, they say, no, I’ve never heard of it,” Harris says.
The Seven Deadly Sins law took effect in 1995. It says that juveniles can be tried as adults if they are charged with murder, manslaughter, rape, armed robbery, child molestation, sodomy, and sexual battery.
“It is a law and there are seven different crimes that are adult crimes that a juvenile from 13 to age 16 can be charged as an adult,” Harris explains.
Harris says typically, younger teens are held at a Youth Detention Center (YDC), but right when they turn 17 they usually head to an adult jail or Department of Corrections (DOC).
“Most likely on their age 17th birthday, I’ve seen it happen many many times that they’ll transfer it to doc,” says Harris.
Harris tries to help families understand the court process.
“A lot of people think that it should happen this way, if I have a very high priced lawyer, I’m going to get to go free. It doesn’t work like that,” Harris says.
He also tries to help kids understand the scope of what happens after a reported crime.
“All the uncomfortable, inconvenient things that people, family have to do for a young man or a young lady who has committed a crime. It really bothers me. I see kids on the streets sometimes who think they can get away with things or do things and they laugh at you like haha like it’s cool, but they don’t understand how it’s going to impact. After the fact it’s long drawn out. It’s just how the thing, how it works,” Harris says.
Full Circle Refuge partnered with the Richmond County Juvenile court system for a 10 week program designed to help young men. The One Degree at a Time, Change the Way You Think and Act Program starts next month.