CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The family of a teenage gunman accused in a murder-for-hire last summer in Clarksville wants the court system to reduce his bond so he can get out of jail and receive a proper education.
John Patrick George has been in the Montgomery County jail for more than a year.
He was just 15 years old when he was arrested charged with shooting Gilbert Hart to death on June 2, 2009.
Hart's two children, Rebecca and Alexander, are also charged in the crime.
They posted bond, but George's family has not been able to raise the $500,000 needed for his release and he has been sitting in jail for 15 months.
Kathryn Norbeck-Dayley is a friend of George's family.
She told News 2 the county should be educating the teen and providing counseling as he awaits trial.
“I'd like for them to give him some kind of education,” she told News 2. “He is 16 years old. How can you not educate him? He is presumed innocent, that just doesn't make sense to me. He is presumed innocent but by the time they go to trial he will lose two years of schooling.”
If he were in a juvenile facility, Dayley claims George would be receiving both.
“I can't imagine anyone being locked up that long without access to things that are necessary,” she continued. “He has got to be terrified. I know everyone who cares about him is. I can't imagine what he is feeling.”
Dayley argues if George were free on bond, his mother would be required to educate him because he is a minor.
She believes the sheriff's office should be required to do so as well.
“I don't know how anyone with a conscience or shred of decency can think this is okay,” she continued. “By the time this all this is said and done, he could be 18 and he has no education.”
According to officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, George's education is not up to them.
They add that he is being kept in isolation, in accordance with federal guidelines that state he must be kept separate from the adult population inside the jail.
Clarksville residents had mixed opinions.
“He murdered someone and he doesn't have any rights now, he is in jail,” Betty David said. “Whether he is an adult or not, in a couple of years he will be in big jail. I don't think it will do him any good there.”
“If he gets out and he doesn't have his education what does he have to look forward to, a life of crime?” asked Tim Knuckles.
He continued, “Everybody needs an education, even though what he did he needs to be punished for it, he still needs his education.”
George's mother declined to talk with News 2 on camera, but Dayley said the family really wants a judge to help them help him.
“A bond reduction would be really helpful,” she said. “It would give his family the chance to get him out on bond so they will have some time with him.”
If George's bond isn't reduced, he will remain in jail until the trial, which is scheduled for March 2011, 21 months after the crime was committed.
- July 15, 2009: 2 juvenile murder suspects will be tried as adults
- July 1, 2009: Clarksville teen charged in father's murder makes bond
- June 11, 2009: Clarksville teen charged in father's murder appears in court
- June 4, 2009: Clarksville teen charged with fatally shooting father