DELAND, Fla. — A 13-year-old Florida boy who fled a children’s home with a teenage girl and fired on deputies during a shootout last year has pleaded no contest to attempted murder.
The boy entered the plea Wednesday in juvenile court and was sentenced to a maximum-risk commitment program, where he will likely spend about three years. He will then be on conditional release, the juvenile equivalent of probation. The Associated Press is not naming him because he is a juvenile.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Maxwell, who hid behind a tree as he was fired upon, told the boy during the hearing that he forgives him.
“I challenge you to be better,” Maxwell said, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. “I want to see you one day be the person … the person that I know you can be. You have a big heart. You have a long life ahead of you. And I will say a prayer for you every day.”
The girl, then 14, and the boy, then 12, fled the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home near Deltona on June 1 after she became angry that she was not allowed to go outside and catch lizards.