A 13-year-old St. Petersburg boy has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of his grandmother.
That means Javarick Henderson Jr. has been charged as an adult, and his fate will be decided in the adult court system, not the juvenile justice system.
The indictment is rare for a boy as young as 13, and it also means he will not be going home.
A child can be held in juvenile detention for up to 30 days, and Javarick was set to be released Dec. 16. Instead, the 13-year-old will soon be transferred to the Pinellas County jail, where he will be held without bail until his case is resolved.
A Pinellas grand jury indicted the boy on Friday, two weeks after St. Petersburg police discovered the body of his grandmother, Gloria Davis, with multiple stab wounds inside her home. Investigators arrested Javarick later that Nov. 25 day on a second-degree murder charge.
What led to the stabbing remains a mystery, said Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties.
“It’s one of the most gruesome crime scenes that I’ve experienced in a long time," he said. "A tremendous amount of violence was involved in her death.
"I can’t take a chance that that guy could potentially be released not knowing what the catalyst was that caused him to do what he did.”
When reached by phone Tuesday, a woman believed to be Javarick’s mother said “I don’t know what to say.” Then she ended the phone call.
The boy’s father could not be reached for comment. He previously told WTSP-Ch. 10 that his son was a good kid.
“Never got in trouble, no fights,” Javarick Henderson Sr. told the TV station.
Bartlett noted that even though the boy is in the adult criminal justice system, he could still be sentenced as a child depending on the evidence and testimony in this case.
“More likely than not it would be resolved in a way that would be consistent with taking into consideration his age,” Bartlett said.
But for now, the prosecutor said, “it’s really somewhat of a mystery as to what prompted this thing.”
Davis’ death was baffling to her friends and neighbors, who said she was a well-loved mail carrier and grandmother not only to her own grandchildren but to kids in the neighborhood around her home at 634 60th Ave. S. The mystery grew when her grandson was accused of the brutal crime. Javarick had no criminal history and no disciplinary issues at school, police said.
The home’s alarm system wasn’t triggered, signaling to police that it likely wasn’t a break-in.
Investigators said they focused on the boy because of evidence found at the crime scene evidence and an interview with his 12-year-old half-brother — the only other person home at the time.
The half-brother told police that he heard loud sounds coming from the kitchen, according to the 13-year-old’s arrest report. Javarick was found covered in blood, police said, with cuts on his hands. Javarick told his half-brother he “did something bad,” according to the report, and told him not to call 911 because he “needed time to think.”