A teenager shot and seriously injured while he allegedly broke into a couple's home faced a judge Wednesday in Augusta County. But details of the preliminary hearing will remain a secret, because the judge closed the courtroom to the public.
This case started two months ago with the report of an intruder shot in the leg and got steadily more bizarre. The then-14-year-old suspect faces misdemeanor and felony charges, related to January's violent break-in at the home of Phillip and Kimberly Crilley.
The latest chapter came Wednesday afternoon when the teen suspect's attorney, Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds, successfully argued to banish the media from the courtroom.
Just moments before the courtroom was closed, Phillip Crilley testified in a related hearing. He told the judge that the teen approached him and his wife with a large stick. They retreated into their Mount Solon home only to have the boy crash his way through their bedroom window. Crilley testified that he shot the teen in the leg just after he rose and pulled a knife from his pocket. Crilley described him as "intent on attack nothing would deter him."
Virginia code requires juvenile hearings like this one to be open to the public, unless an attorney can show "good cause". Deeds argued, and Judge Charles Ricketts agreed, that evidence of the teen's mental health and medical history were good cause for closing the hearing.