East Naples teen accused of accidentally shooting mother makes brief court appearance

Kelly Ann Rowles, 39, was shot and killed inside her Fiddler's Creek condominium on Aug. 22, 2010.

Photo by www.americasmemorials.com

Kelly Ann Rowles, 39, was shot and killed inside her Fiddler's Creek condominium on Aug. 22, 2010.

Jonathan Rowles, the 13-year-old boy accused of accidentally shooting his mother in the head and killing her inside their East Naples home in August, made a brief appearance in court Monday morning.

Jonathan’s arraignment was scheduled for 9 a.m. in front of Collier County Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie. However, after signing a written not guilty plea, Jonathan and his father, Chris Rowles, left the courtroom before Brodie arrived for the routine appearance.

Jonathan was smiling and, considering the circumstances, seemed upbeat. His next court appearance is slated for Dec. 6.

On Sept. 24, Jonathan was arrested on a warrant for a manslaughter charge, and was held for three weeks inside the Collier juvenile detention center.

When reached on the phone, Chris Rowles said Jonathan has been released from juvenile detention and is living with him. He directed further questions to Jonathan’s public defender, Richard Fetterer.

Fetterer declined to discuss the case or Jonathan’s mental state. When asked if he expected the case to go to trial, Fetterer said it is too early to tell.

“We’re still in the phase of getting discovery from the state, investigating the case,” he said.

Officials from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice declined comment because under state statute, details of juvenile cases are not public record. Terry Field, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families, said his agency has never had contact with the Rowles family.

Authorities say that around 9:15 a.m. on Aug. 22, Jonathan shot and killed his mother, Kelly Ann Rowles, 39, inside their Fiddler’s Creek condominium at 9288 Grassy Way, No. 103. Terrified neighbors struggled to keep her alive until emergency responders arrived nearly 13 minutes after the initial 911 call.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office officials maintain the shooting was an accident, but have released few details of the case explaining why they believe that other than to say that Jonathan was “negligent with the weapon that resulted in his mother’s death.” There will be no additional arrests in the case, the Sheriff’s Office has said.

Connect with Ryan Mills at www.naplesnews.com/staff/ryan-mills/

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