Teen charged with mom's murder appears before judge - WKRN News 2

Teen charged with mom's murder appears before judge

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GALLATIN, Tenn. -

The case against a 15-year-old Sumner County teen charged with beating his mother to death and setting the family's home in Hendersonville on fire will stay in juvenile court for now.

The teen, dressed in a prison jumpsuit, appeared before a judge Tuesday afternoon.  He was calm and showed no emotion.

The judge denied an order to move the youth's case to adult court until a mental evaluation is complete much to the dismay of Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley.

"If he were to remain in juvenile court, juvenile court would only have control of him until he was 19 years old which is just four years from now so juvenile court is not set up to handle a serious case like this," Whitley said following the hearing.

The teen will be held in Sumner County and later transferred to a juvenile facility in Murfreesboro, the judge said.

The boy's grandparents and a neighbor were among those in the courtroom for Tuesday's hearing.

The suspect's 16-year-old brother woke up to a smoke alarm at the family's home on Gannett Road just after Midnight Saturday and found his mother, 46-year-old Melanie Davis, beaten to death.

The 15-year-old was located a few hours later and arrested.

"There's a lot more going on in this family that meets the eye at this point," Defense Attorney Randy Lucas said following Tuesday's hearing, adding, "As this case goes on and unfolds you may see a completely different story than what's appeared so far in the media I don't want to see a rush to judgment."

According to friends, Davis, an Austria native, was raising her two teenage boys alone after her husband died of Lou Gehrig's disease a few years ago.

The teen is scheduled to return to court Tuesday, September 18.

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