STAUNTON — A Mount Solon teen charged in a December home invasion appeared in court Friday alongside his attorney, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds.
The former gubernatorial hopeful convinced a judge that the teen defendant should undergo a mental evaluation prior to a preliminary hearing.
Judge Charles L. Ricketts III ordered the evaluation over the argument of Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Rupen Shah.
“In my view, these are felonies,” Shah said, “and this young man had an evaluation a short time back.”
Deeds argued the teen’s last evaluation took place before his release from the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center and the shooting injury that hospitalized him.
“Since that occurred, this kid spent more than a month out in the woods,” said Deeds, whose Senate district includes the Charlottesville area. “He’s gone through severe trauma.”
The 15-year-old lost part of his leg in an amputation after suffering a gunshot wound Jan. 13, and he used a walker to reach a courtroom seat next to his parents Friday.
Deputies in January arrested the teen on charges of breaking and entering, petty larceny and destruction of property after a home invasion in which the boy, armed with a stick, took a running dive through the bedroom window of the home of Philip and Kimberly Crilley in Mount Solon, authorities said. Cornered in the bedroom, Philip Crilley shot the teen in the right leg, authorities said.
Doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center later removed the bottom part of the teen’s leg.
Court records show a victim in the home invasion, Kimberly Crilley, 48, is scheduled to appear in Augusta County court on March 14 for a charge of having carnal knowledge of the same teen boy.
During their investigation, detectives discovered a small cabin about 200 yards from the Crilleys’ home with food and the teen’s “personal items” inside.
Among the physical evidence they shipped to a state lab, investigators said they included hair they believe to belong to the teen and Kimberly Crilley that was found on bedding.
Before the Friday hearing, Deeds argued unsuccessfully to bar the public from the proceeding, offering the teen’s age as a reason.
Virginia code allows the public to attend hearings involving felony charges against teens who are at least 14 years old, unless a judge determines good cause to close a hearing.
“Just because he’s [a teen], that’s not a good cause,” Ricketts said. “That’s what the legislature has decided.”
“So it’s up to the judge then?” Deeds responded.
“There has to be good cause shown,” the judge said.
The teen hugged his mother as guards prepared to return him to the detention center.
She cried into his shoulder.
The mother is also charged in the case. In court documents, authorities said the woman allowed her son to live with Kimberly Crilley.
The News Virginian is not naming the mother to protect the identity of the teen.
The 15-year-old defendant is scheduled to appear in court again later this month. In the meantime, Ricketts ordered he be kept at the detention center.
Deeds declined to comment about the case, saying only, “This is just a … boy and I don’t try any case in the press.”
Purdy reports for the News Virginian in Waynesboro.