Attorney: Plea deal in the works for teen accused of killing parents

— A Collier County teenager accused of shooting and killing his parents is agreeing to plead guilty for a lesser sentence.

Alex Crain’s attorney, Brian Bieber, filed a stipulation with Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt on Tuesday containing confidential medical evaluations that were previously performed on Crain, along with a report from a probation officer regarding the 15-year-old’s background.

“We are working diligently toward resolving the case without the necessity for trial,” Bieber said. “We are hoping the judge will review it, approve it, so we can close this chapter of Alex’s life.”

The former Palmetto Ridge High School student is accused of gunning down his parents, Kelly and Thomas Crain, inside their Golden Gate Estates home on Dec. 9, 2010. Crain has been charged as an adult and could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted on two counts of manslaughter with a firearm.

The teen was originally arrested on two counts of second-degree murder, crimes punishable by a life sentence in prison.

Bieber said the details of the plea could not be disclosed since they have not yet been finalized.

“There are no winners in a case like this,” Bieber said. “Everybody loses. To go to trial, in our opinion, is totally unnecessary.”

Bieber previously said a “psychological component” contributed to the shootings, describing Crain’s affliction as a “disease” or “defect.”

“We believe the mental health aspect in this case is of epic proportion,” Bieber said in March 2011.

Last month, an appellate court denied a petition to allow Crain to have face-to-face, unmonitored access to a private psychologist, which his attorneys believed would guarantee confidentiality. Instead, Crain is being treated by a firm contracted by the Naples Jail Center, which “must maintain patient confidentiality,” according to an appeals court statement.

Crain’s scheduled trial on April 23, has been canceled due to the possible plea, according to Collier court records.

Nancy Ward, Crain’s grandmother, said she is still supporting her grandson and continues to visit him regularly.

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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