Alex Crain, a freshman at Palmetto Ridge High School, has no prior
criminal record, so if he’s charged as a juvenile, the maximum he
could be held in a juvenile center would be until he turns 21. Under
the state’s 10-20-Life Law involving crimes with a gun, Crain would
face life on the two second-degree murder charges if he’s prosecuted
as an adult.
Crain was arrested Thursday morning by Collier
County Sheriff’s deputies after a 911 call from the home on 47th
Avenue Northeast . The call, which lasted 16 minutes and 40 seconds,
came in at 8:30 a.m. Deputies haven’t said whether the boy made the
call, but the report shows no one else was in the home when Crain
walked down the driveway, holding his hands up, toward sheriff’s
detectives Andrew Henchesmoore and Sgt. Devid Jolicouer.
As Detective Matt Willard pointed his gun at the
boy, Henchesmoore searched him and handcuffed him before placing him
in a patrol car. Crain told him only his parents were in the home, the
report said, and the gun, a rifle, was in a bathroom.
Family members declined comment as they left the
courtroom with private investigator John Hisler, who has been retained
by Hollander. The defense attorney acted as a court-appointed lawyer
today, until the family decides whether to retain him privately.
“He’s in shock,” Hollander said of the teen,
declining to say whether he’d been on any medications. “The picture in
the paper pretty much summed it up.”
Hollander said family members are standing by the
“If he was to be released, obviously, they would
want him to come home,” he said. “The family members are the victims
Hollander wouldn’t speak about details, saying he
was just called Thursday by a Tampa attorney, who asked him to handle
the arraignment this morning.
If he and Hisler are hired, he said, they would
work toward building a case to have him tried as a juvenile. Hollander
cited the 10-20-Life Law, which has mandatory sentences involving
crimes with guns, adding: “That’s one of the reasons I have to try to
get him not charged as an adult.”
Second-degree murder, which involves a killing that
wasn’t premeditated, is a first-degree felony punishable by a prison
term of 40 years to life. The charge involves a killing committed
during another crime. Deputies have not said what that crime was.
The 10-20-Life Law sets guidelines for the minimum
a convict must serve before he or she can be released. In Crain’s
case, if he is convicted as an adult, he would be required to serve a
minimum mandatory of 25 years or up to life in prison.
Noting Crain’s young age and that most teens
charged as adults in murders are often 16 or 17 at the youngest, he
said he hoped the State Attorney’s Office would prosecute him as a
“He’s had no prior run-ins with the law and under
the statute, charging him as an adult is discretionary, rather than
mandatory,” Hollander added.
Ward, the boy’s grandmother and a licensed
practical nurse, is a former business partner of Kelly Crain. The
women operated NankelCompumed from 1999 to 2004. The Crains operated
Crain Screening and Aluminum Inc., a company they started in 2002, out
of their home.
There was no new information about how the killings
occurred, the type of rifle used or if the couple was sleeping at the
“We’ve been working closely with the Collier County
Sheriff’s Office since this incident happened and we have not received
the case yet for review,” said Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the
State Attorney’s Office. “Once the Collier County Sheriff’s Office
completes their investigation, we will review the case for possible
The boy is being held the maximum number of days in
secure juvenile detention on charges filed by the arresting agency.
Formal charges still must be filed by the State Attorney’s Office for
any prosecution to move forward.