Pinellas County prosecutors have opted to charge a 14-year-old boy as an adult after the passenger of the car in which he was driving after allegedly stealing it in November was killed after wrecking it.
Authorities say Myles Abbott and Alijah Armstead stole a white Chevrolet Camaro in mid-November last year. Investigators say Abbott, 14, was the wheelman and Armstead, 15, was his accomplice in the caper.
Per investigators, Abbott fled the scene by driving the Camaro at a high rate of speed. Their flight ended abruptly at 11th Avenue S at 40th Street in St. Petersburg, when the vehicle failed to negotiate a dip in the road. Abbot lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a tree, seriously injuring both boys.
The duo was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where Abbott mended from his injuries. Armstead was not as fortunate however, as he succumbed to the damage he sustained on New Year’s Day.
Partly as a result of the incident in question, a debate has raged in Pinellas County regarding whether juveniles suspected of such crimes should be handled by the juvenile justice system or face trial and potential punishment in the adult division. However, despite the debate remaining unresolved as yet, prosecutors have opted to charge Abbott with the adult crime of felony murder. As authorities allege he was committing an inherently dangerous crime that led to Armstead’s demise, such charges are appropriate.
Abbott is currently being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.