“This youth is a ward of the department of children and families. Is that correct, Mr. Morrero?” asked Judge Michael Orfinger.
“Yes, your honor,” said Mr. Morrero.
There was a judge, attorneys and child advocates present, but no parents at a 12-year-old’s first appearance in a Volusia County courtroom last week. The reason: He’s a ward of the state.
The boy listened quietly as Judge Michael Orfinger determined there was probable cause for his arrest after he and a 14-year-old girl allegedly broke into a home, armed themselves with guns including an AK-47, and fired at responding deputies.
The young suspects had been living at a local children’s home after being placed there by DCF.
Based on the charges, the judge will not immediately return the 12-year-old to the foster care system.
“I’m going to order that you be held in secure detention for 21 days or until further order of the court,” said Judge Orfinger.
The girl remains hospitalized after deputies shot her in the abdomen and arm.
The suspects will be charged as juveniles for the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and armed burglary.