Former Augusta YDC resident indicted on attempted murder charge

A 16-year-old former resident at the Augusta Youth Development Center has been indicted on a charge of attempted murder.

The Richmond County grand jury returned the indictment Monday against Daryl Wayne Gordon, who was a resident at the detention facility for juveniles where another teen was killed a year earlier.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 2 Gordon allegedly lured another teenager to an area out of sight of guards, choked the teen unconscious and then kicked and stomped the victim in the head.

According to the indictment, the victim suffered “substantial” head injuries and for a time he was on life support.

After the Dec. 2 incident, the Department of Juvenile Justice issued press releases describing the incident as a fight between two boys, one of whom suffered “minor injuries” and “cuts and bruises” and was hospitalized for a short time.

According to the department’s latest press release, a lieutenant was fired and the acting director was suspended with pay.

The agency is pushing members of the General Assembly to pass a bill that would make all investigations of abuse at the state’s detention centers secret, contending it is necessary to protect juveniles.

In late 2011, 11 employees of the Youth Development Center were fired, including the then director, after the Nov. 7 beating death of a teen resident, Jade Holder, and a Dec. 4 sexual assault.

Michael Everidge, 17, was charged with murder in the beating death of Holder, 19. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 17 years in prison followed by three years on probation.

According to a scathing investigative report released after The Augusta Chronicle filed Open Record requests, the door to Holder’s room was intentionally left open to allow the teens to fight.

Devin S. Ardoin, 17, was initially charged with aggravated child molestation – a crime punishable by a mandatory 30-year minimum prison sentence – for the Dec. 4, 2011, reported assault. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense of aggravated child molestation, sexual contact between consenting teens, and was sentenced to six months in jail on March 14, 2012.

On Oct. 19, the day Ever­idge was sentenced for manslaughter, five teenagers escaped from the detention center and allegedly stole a car, and engaged in a high-speed pursuit with sheriff deputies before the teen driver crashed the vehicle. The director of the detention center at that time resigned later that month.

Melvin Womble, the director suspended with pay after the December 2012 attack, was hired to replace that director, Ronald Brawner.

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