Daytona Beach, FL - One juvenile who shot at deputies will be tried as an adult while her co-defendant is set to remain in the juvenile system, according to a recent update from the State Attorney's Office (SAO).
State Attorney RJ Larizza spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon (June 17) from a courtroom at the S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach and stated that 12-year-old Travis O’Brien and 14-year-old Nicole Jackson, who shot at Volusia County deputies during an armed standoff in Enterprise, have officially been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, armed burglary of a dwelling, and criminal mischief of $1000 or more.
But, according to Larizza, only one of those two will be tried as an adult, and that's Jackson, who was shot after aiming a shotgun at deputies. Larizza spoke to News Daytona Beach following the press conference and said there are a few reasons as to why that is; one of them being age.
"Two years is a significant difference as far as maturity, et cetera," said Larizza. "Additionally, we look at the facts and circumstances of the case."
Larizza added that the State Attorney's Office will also consider the record of the accused. It's unclear as to why specifically Jackson is being tried as an adult, but Jackson was already arrested once this year, which could play a role in their reasoning. That arrest stems from an incident where Jackson set six fires in the "B-section of Palm Coast and was subsequently charged for those fires back in April.
On the subject of custody, O'Brien will remain at the Juvenile Detention Center in Daytona Beach where he will finish out his mandatory 21-day secure detention. After that runs up, Larizza said the court can revisit O'Brien's custody every 72 hours during a status conference, where they can decide if his detention is to be extended or not. Larizza told News Daytona Beach that the SAO's intent is to keep O'Brien in extended detention until there is a resolution in the case.
As for Jackson, since she is now being tried as an adult she will be kept in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail, where she will remain.
Larizza also mentioned that he has been in contact with the secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), who is reportedly aware of problems in the DJJ that cases such as these highlight.
"I'm optimistic that we'll be able to take what's happened here and hopefully use that to come up with some better practices and maybe even some legislative changes that will improve the juvenile justice system," said Larizza.
According to Larizza, the next step for these two is to be arraigned. It's not known at this time when O'Brien or Jackson will see a judge again.