CLEARWATER — A 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing a stranger to death near Crest Lake Park in January will be prosecuted as an adult, court records show.
The night of Jan. 5, Jason Paul, 22, was riding his bike home after work when he was stabbed several times in the 100 block of S Glenwood Avenue east of downtown Clearwater.
Police learned that Mychal King of Clearwater, 15 at the time, might have been involved. Detectives interviewed King at the juvenile detention center, where he was being held on unrelated charges, and he confessed to killing Paul, police Chief Anthony Holloway said last month.
The teenager told detectives he was angry after an argument with his parents and vented his rage by stabbing the first person he saw, police said.
King was charged with second-degree murder, but prosecutors will seek a first-degree murder indictment from a grand jury Oct. 3.
"It's a charge we filed to keep him in jail until we can present to the grand jury on the higher charge," said Pinellas-Pasco Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett.
Prosecutors' decision to charge King as an adult was based on the severity of the crime and King's prior criminal history, he said.
"It just was a random act of violence. Big-time violence, certainly," Bartlett said. "You want to make sure that person is going to be incarcerated for a long period of time for the safety of the citizens."
The juvenile detention center was ordered Tuesday to transfer King to the Pinellas County Jail without bail, court records state.
Contact Laura C. Morel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)445-4157.