On the fourth day of the new schoolyear, a 13-year-old Bunnell girl became the first student to be arrested on a felony charge that has sent dozens of students through the judicial system since 2018: making written threats to kill. The girl told police she’d been upset when other talked about her deceased mother.
The 13-year-old was charged Friday with the second-degree felony after screed shots of messages and recorded voice messages indicated she had allegedly threatened to kill another girl–a friend–by shooting her in the face. In one voice clip, the girl threatened her friend to watch what she says before “I put a bullet between your eyes,” according to her arrest report. One video purported to show the alleged aggressor with a gun, and she’d authored several text messages asking her victim to meet up so they could fight. The girl had apparently created a fake phone number to disseminate the threats.
Deputies met with the girl and her father, a 43-year-old resident of Daytona North. The girl initially said she had not made threats, but was confronted with law enforcement’s evidence, in pictures and voice mails. Her father identified the voice as that of his daughter–and the gun she was holding, a .32-caliber Jennings firearm, was his. He told deputies that it had been in his safe, locked up. He told them he didn’t know how she might have gotten the gun out.
The girl was arrested, transported to the Flagler County jail and processed there, but not held there. Juveniles are routinely either turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach or, more often, returned to their parents at DJJ’s request, pending court proceedings. The juveniles typically are sentenced to probation, but also face other disciplinary consequences from the school district.
“Many of our kids and students are now learning online and actively using social media so I ask that parents be the Sheriff of their homes and monitor their kid’s online activity,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release. “It’s important to know who your child is communicating with online and what they are saying. I also hope this teenager gets the help she needs on how to handle disagreements before she progresses to more serious criminal activity.”