Teen found guilty of manslaughter after mother's death
NAPLES - A teenager who shot and killed in mother in August of 2010 was found guilty by a Collier County judge of manslaughter.
Jonathan Rowles, 15, sat quietly as the verdict was read by Circut Judge Ramiro Mañalich on Friday afternoon.
"I feel the based on the evidence that the state put on that it was the correct ruling," said Assistant State Attorney Tammy Wilson.
The defense argued that their client thought the weapon's safety lock was on, but the judge didn't buy it because Rowles was taught to use the gun.
"He had been trained by his father as to gun as to the safety mechanism and actually firing the gun," said Judge Mañalich.
Rowles' lawyer also claimed the teen should not be found guilty because the magazine of the rifle disappeared for several weeks before the trial, before it was eventually found.
"The testing of the states expert as well as the defense expert. Both of them said that the tubular magazine did not affect the functioning of the rifle in any manner whatsoever," said Assistant State Attorney Thomas Gorman, who is also assigned to the case.
Despite the verdict, Rowels will not spend any time in jail because the system seeks to rehabilitate teen charged with serious crimes.
"He can receive anything usually probation. I would think it would go lower than that... to going to a commitment program," said Wilson.
The Department of Juvenile Justice will decide which punishment Rowles will receive in the coming weeks.