Originally created 04/12/06

Convicted boy will be released



ATLANTA - A judge on Tuesday ordered the release of the boy convicted in the 2004 slaying of 8-year-old Amy Yates, whose body was found by a creek near her family's Carroll County home.

The 14-year-old will be released from a psychiatric treatment center as early as today, said his attorney, Jerry Word.

A Carroll County juvenile court judge ordered the release after learning an 18-year-old boy had confessed and knew details about the crime that weren't released to the public, said the prosecutor, Pete Skandalakis.

Mr. Skandalakis said he did not oppose releasing the boy, who will be placed on home confinement with an ankle monitor.

"I have always considered this an open investigation," said Mr. Skandalakis, district attorney for the five-county Coweta Judicial District.

Mr. Word said he plans to meet with Mr. Skandalakis and will turn over notes and other defense attorney investigation information. Mr. Skandalakis said he will then decide how to proceed.

Amy was strangled on April 26, 2004, investigators say. Her body was found near the trailer park.

Police initially suspected a 12-year-old boy who lived in the trailer park. The boy, now 14, didn't confess but made statements indicating he was present at the time of the killing, Mr. Word said.

Based on that admission and a guilty plea, the boy was incarcerated, first in a juvenile detention facility and then in a treatment center. Though he pled guilty, the boy has said he did not kill Amy.

In February, Chris Gossett, 18, told police he killed the girl. Mr. Gossett, who is diagnosed with mental retardation and an IQ in the 50s, lived in the trailer park too, Mr. Skandalakis said.

Mr. Gossett has not been charged.