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Boy, 13, appears in adult court in grandmother’s murder

Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, was indicted last week on a first-degree murder charge.
Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, seen on a video screen at his first appearance hearing on Wednesday. A grand jury indicted the boy as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother, and his case is now being handled by the adult court system. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, seen on a video screen at his first appearance hearing on Wednesday. A grand jury indicted the boy as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother, and his case is now being handled by the adult court system. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Dec. 11, 2019
Updated Dec. 11, 2019

LARGO — The 13-year-old boy accused of fatally stabbing his grandmother made his first appearance in an adult court on Wednesday, days after a grand jury indicted him on a first-degree murder charge.

Javarick Henderson Jr. stood in a room at the Pinellas County jail and appeared on a video screen in a courtroom in the Pinellas County Justice Center.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Chris Helinger asked the boy if he would like the public defender’s office to represent him.

“Yes, ma’am,” Henderson said on the video monitor.

RELATED: Boy, 13, indicted as adult in St. Pete grandmother’s stabbing death

The judge ordered the 13-year-old to be held without bail at the Pinellas jail.

The boy’s family did not attend the hearing.

A public defender had already been assigned to the case, since Henderson was originally charged with second-degree murder as a juvenile. He appeared before a judge on that charge last month and was housed at a juvenile facility, where juveniles can typically be held for up to 30 days.

That changed when prosecutors secured the first-degree murder indictment from a grand jury on Friday, charging him as an adult in this case. That also allows the judge to order Henderson be held in the county jail while his case works its way through the judicial process, just like an adult charged with first-degree murder.

Investigators said Henderson fatally stabbed his 56-year-old grandmother, Gloria Davis, on Nov. 25 at her home at 634 60th Ave. S in St. Petersburg.

RELATED: ‘I was baffled.' Mystery shrouds case of boy, 13, accused of killing grandmother

Henderson and his half brother, who is 12, were staying with Davis that night. Henderson lives in Clearwater and attended Dunedin Highland Middle School. The half brother told police he heard screams. When officers arrived, they found Henderson covered in blood.

Davis was a mail carrier. One customer, Jenn Stratton, who said Davis delivered her mail for years, called the postal worker “friendly, always in good spirits and dependable.”

Henderson is the youngest of nine juveniles currently held at the jail, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The others are four 16-year-olds and four 17-year-olds. The teens are held separately from adults, and they are not supposed to come into contact with the adult inmates. The adults and juveniles do not share lunch or activity time.

The juveniles are taught five days a week using a curriculum prepared by the Pinellas County School District.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Chris Hellinger presides over Wednesday's first appearance hearing for Javarick Henderson Jr., 13. The boy was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother and his case will be decided in the adult criminal justice system. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]

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