Teen not fit to stand trial in beating of teacher

Judge mandates role-playing exercises to ensure later readiness

The special needs student who attacked a pregnant Collins Elementary School teacher and caused her to lose her baby earlier this year continues to threaten other children and members of his family, authorities said at a status conference in Richmond County juvenile court Wednesday.

The student, who was 13 at the time of the attack, was charged with aggravated battery in March in connection to the incident. During the hearing, authorities said he continues to act out violently but is undergoing therapy and treatment for anger management.

His parents told the court they were concerned they were running out of treatment options since the hospital where he is being seen, Serenity Mental Health Services, is closing its juvenile mental health facility and referring patients to other physicians. They said their son is difficult to control when he "snaps" and was harming his siblings.

"He needs some help bad," said a man identified as the teen's father. "He's getting to the point where he's hitting his sister and hitting his brother and pulling the dog from up under the doors."

Richmond County Board of Education Police Lt. Richard Roundtree told Juvenile Court Judge Jennifer McKinzie that the teen has been suspended from Tubman Education Center several times for incidents ranging from painting gang graffiti to standing on a lunchroom table and shouting an obscenity about the former Underwood Homes public housing area off Sand Bar Ferry Road.

In the complaint Roundtree submitted to juvenile authorities about the Jan. 20 incident, the teen struck repeatedly the teacher -- who was trying to break up a fight -- about the body and "intentionally" in the stomach.

At the hearing Wednesday, the teen's attorney, Brendan Fleming, said two doctors who evaluated his client said he is currently not competent to stand trial but one of them said he could become competent with the proper treatment.

McKinzie then ordered a "last ditch" effort to have him involved in role-playing exercises, which one of the doctors said could be beneficial. Speaking directly to the teen, McKinzie ordered him to stay out of trouble. The teen appeared to become defensive, and at one point, questioning the judge directly.

"What would you do if someone hit you in the head and put a knot on your head," he said in response to what authorities had said about his troubles at school.

A future status conference date was not immediately set.

Collins teacher lost baby after attack by pupil
Pupil charged with aggravated battery

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