A 15-year-old Boynton Beach resident is facing attempted murder charges after a social media beef blew up into real-life violence. Jaevin Cutter is being held without bail while his victim, Taquan Edwards, will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Cutter will be one of the youngest Floridians charged with attempted murder under Florida law.
The Edwards family said they moved from Boynton Beach to North Florida due to the constant taunts and threats they received from Cutter and his associates. The family said Edwards had been taking care of his grandmother, had a job as a landscaper, and had a girlfriend.
Police were called to the scene where gunfire was reported and found Edwards in front of his grandmother’s house where he’d been shot several times. Two shots entered his leg and another lodged in his spine leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Edwards said he was standing outside the home when he heard someone call his name. When he turned around, he saw Cutter standing in the road. Edwards said he tried to run, but Cutter shot him first. Edwards said he knew Cutter from a social media dispute. After the shooting, Cutter believed Edwards was dead and mocked his family on social media.
Cutter has one other case pending against him. The case is related to filing the serial number off of a weapon and illegal possession of a weapon.
Tried as an Adult
Children as young as twelve have been tried as adults for murder. In fact, it’s common for any teenager involved in a premeditated homicide to be charged with murder or attempted murder. In Florida, there is no sentencing difference between first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. The law doesn’t consider the fact that the individual who tried to commit murder failed in the attempt.
In 2000, a 13-year-old was tried as an adult for fatally shooting his teacher. He is serving a 28-year-sentence in Florida. In 2015, a 14-year-old boy was charged with two murders during a robbery. Police say he bragged about the murder on social media and then took his friends out on shopping sprees. He is serving two consecutive 60-year sentences.
Attempted First-Degree Murder in Florida
In some states, attempted murder is prosecuted more lightly than a successful first-degree murder. That is not the case in Florida. The State of Florida figures that if you’re willing to try to murder someone in cold blood after a social media beef, then you should face the same consequences as someone who was more competent than you at executing the plan.
While the court will consider his age when sentencing happens, the fact that he bragged about the murder on social media and then taunted the family after believing he killed their son, might be a case where the judge simply throws away the key.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing charges, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to discuss your options and protect your future.