The parents of the boy accused of shooting them in anger over their telling him to finish a household chore Friday were not able to attend their son's Muscogee Juvenile Court hearing Monday because they were in the hospital, their pastor said today.
Jay Bailey, pastor of Solid Rock Church, said he wanted to correct a detective's court testimony that Kristi Lynn and Randal Stanley Askevich were released from the hospital Saturday and yet did not attend the hearing. He said Kristi Askevich, the boy's stepmother, was not released from The Medical Center until Monday afternoon, and the father remained hospitalized today.
Bailey said both are devoted parents who hold no ill will toward the 15-year-old, who has long struggled with anger-management issues. The stepmother quit a job just to stay home to work with the teen before taking a position as an administrative assistant at Solid Rock Church, he said.
"There are anger issues that both Randy and Kristi have had to help him walk through," the pastor said.
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When not experiencing such episodes, the child is considerate and well behaved, Bailey said: "He is a very affectionate young man."
In court Monday, police said the teenager accused of opening fire on his parents Friday evening was angry that they insisted he do his chores instead of looking up a Bible verse for a female friend who had told him she wanted to be “saved."
Detective Amanda Hogan said the 15-year-old felt his mission to find the right verse for his friend took priority over the list of chores his parents maintained for him, and when they insisted Thursday that he stick to the list, his pent-up rage grew overnight Thursday and continued to build all day Friday while he was at school.
So he went to his parents’ night stand where he knew they kept a 9mm pistol, took the gun and hid the gun in his room, Hogan said. When his parents got home from work Friday, he first went to the bathroom, then stepped into his bedroom, got the gun, came out and opened fire, the officer said.
In a telephone interview Tuesday, Bailey said the conflict grew from the parents' asking the teen to bag up an old bed comforter to take to Goodwill after the couple bought him new bedding. They repeatedly had requested he get the old comforter ready to deliver, and on Friday, the boy told his father he had completed the chore, Bailey said.
The pastor said no exchange of harsh words preceded the shooting: "There wasn't a heated argument. There wasn't any serious strife or conflict."
The child's stepmother, 45, was shot through the right wrist, and a bullet lodged in her right abdomen, Hogan said. The father, 40, was hit in the right hip, Hogan said in court Monday.
When police got the 5:54 p.m. call to the family’s Olde Towne Drive home, they were told the boy still had his parents at gunpoint, so officers did not go charging in, Hogan said. But then the father got the gun away from the teen, and the mother came outside to tell police what had happened, the detective said.
Hogan said the mother told police her son was on several medications, and the parents could not believe he had shot them.
The bespectacled boy sat silently in court and did not testify. He was represented by attorney Richard Zimmerman.
Testimony revealed the boy in 2011 had been through Juvenile Drug Court, a diversion program to guide minors away from drugs and crime.
As Monday’s preliminary hearing concluded, Judge Andrew Dodgen ordered the boy remain held without bond at the Youth Detention Center until a formal hearing is conducted later. The Hardaway High School student is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and possessing a firearm while under the age of 18.
Bailey said Tuesday that the parents are coping with the upheaval this has caused and hoping they can help the teen.
"They’re making recovery. They’ve got their physical recovery, and then I’m sure there’s going to be the emotional trauma," the minister said. "But they have a great attitude, and you know, in my conversations with them, at no point have they ever expressed any disgust or dismay. They are obviously concerned for his well being, and desire that he get the help that he needs.”