NAPLES — Naples teenager Alex Crain will remain in juvenile custody an additional two months as prosecutors determine charges in his parents’ slayings.
Wednesday, state prosecutors cited the need for a psychiatric evaluation of Crain, 14, in requesting a postponement of his scheduled arraignment. They are also closely following the ongoing investigation by Collier County Sheriff’s detectives, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office said.
The postponement, granted by Collier Circuit Judge Elizabeth Krier, keeps Crain in custody and gives the state more time to decide whether to charge the boy as a juvenile or an adult.
His arraignment is now scheduled for Feb. 14.
The teenager was arrested Dec. 9 on two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his mother, Kelly Crain, 39, and father, Thomas Crain, 40. The victims were found dead in the master bedroom of their Golden Gate Estates home earlier that day, after deputies responded to a 911 call.
Florida law requires juveniles in most cases be held no more than 21 days in detention, a period that can be extended upon request.
The evaluation requested by the state will be Crain’s third since his arrest. His attorneys have had one psychiatric evaluation performed, and another is pending, defense attorney Mark Rankin said.
“We all want to have him evaluated to find out what exactly happened and why,” Rankin said of the assessments.
In the adult court system, multiple evaluations often proceed a competency hearing, where the ability of a defendant to participate in his or her own trial is weighed. Rankin says such isn’t the case with Crain, and he described the evaluations as part of an overall effort by both sides to determine the facts and motivations behind the shooting.
Rankin and co-counsel Brian Bieber of Miami have spoken with the State Attorney’s Office about the case, he said, and both sides agreed to the postponement. The boy’s family members retained the attorneys shortly after the arrest.
Family members have met with prosecutors to discuss the case, Rankin said, and they visit Crain in detention twice weekly. The family is opposed to him being tried as an adult.
If charged as an adult and convicted of murder, Alex will face a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life on each count.