Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Facing the future
We talked on the show yesterday about the case of the teen thugs in West Palm Beach who gang raped a woman inside her apartment in a notorious housing project, beat and cut her and her son and then forced the son, who is 12, to participate in the rape of his own mother, at gunpoint. The case was so horrifying, it was almost too awful to talk about, but indeed we did. We also talked with two lawyers who called in, about the prospects for the two teens out of about 10 who are already under arrest -- 16-year-old Nathan Walker and 14-year-old Avion Lawson. They could be looking at life in prison ...

Walker and Avion Lawson, 14, will be held in jail cells with other teenagers for up to 21 days until the state attorney's office formally files paperwork charging them as adults. State Attorney Barry Krischer directed prosecutors to send them to adult court, an automatic decision anytime someone 14 or older is charged with a violent felony, spokesman Mike Edmondson said.

When that paperwork is filed, Walker and Lawson will be in the Palm Beach County Jail on charges that include armed sexual battery while wearing a mask, home invasion and aggravated battery.

If convicted, the maximum sentence for both is life in prison.

What's really stunning in this case is the almost surreal response to the situation of Walker's father, Nathan Senior:

"I love my son," the father said. "I'm going to stick by him. I don't teach violence to my son, so it really puzzles me. Maybe he's just hanging out with the wrong crowd. I don't know."

He acknowledged that he hadn't spent as much time with his son as he should have after parting ways with the boy's mother. But he said his son is shy and timid, and they went to places like the Fun Depot arcade together.

"It's been awhile since I really spent a lot of time with him," the father said. In the meantime, his son has been getting into trouble with the law.

I understand the love part, but how is it that a man can be so thoroughly unacquainted with the character and personality of his own son? That's just one of the things that's scary about this case.


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