Appeal filed for teen accused of killing parents to see therapist

Defendant Alex Crain listens during a pre-trial hearing for a judgement on two motions by defense attorney Brian Bieber, including one to bar cameras from inside the courtroom.  Both motions were denied by Judge Fred Hardt. Greg Kahn/Staff

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Defendant Alex Crain listens during a pre-trial hearing for a judgement on two motions by defense attorney Brian Bieber, including one to bar cameras from inside the courtroom. Both motions were denied by Judge Fred Hardt. Greg Kahn/Staff

— One of Alex Crain’s attorneys is still fighting for the teen accused of killing his parents to be seen by a therapist.

In August, Judge Frederick Hardt denied the request brought forth by Brian Bieber, the attorney.

Hardt said the decision was out of his hands.

“I don’t tell the sheriff how to run a jail,” Hardt said in August. “And the sheriff doesn’t tell me how to run a courtroom. If the sheriff chooses not to, that’s within their prerogative.”

Nearly five weeks after the ruling, Bieber filed an appeal to the decision.

“This is a 15-year-old boy who is charged in connection with the death of his two parents,” Bieber said. “He desperately needs a confidential therapeutic treatment on a weekly basis and it is imperative that the sessions be in person rather than through Plexiglas in jail.”

Crain is accused of slaying both of his parents, Thomas and Kelly Crain, at their Golden Gate Estates home in December. He was 14 at the time.

Bieber also said the psychotherapist, who would be chosen by Crain at no cost to the state, rather entirely compensated by Crain’s family. This unmonitored visit would also not count towards Crain’s approved two visits per week, if allowed.

Though Crain is seen by a jail-appointed psychiatrist once every two weeks, Bieber said that’s not beneficial.

“To force a juvenile to receive psychological counseling in this fashion pretty much degenerates the entire therapeutic process,” Bieber said.

The sessions with the psychiatrist are not confidential and are conducted in the same way the teen visits with his family - on the telephone through Plexiglas.

Bieber said he’s expecting to have a decision from the appellate court in October.

An April trial has been set for the teen, who is being held on $1 million bond at the Collier County jail’s juvenile wing.

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