CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A 13-year-old boy is dead after being stabbed during a massive fight on Saturday night in Orange Park. At least nine boys, ages 10-17, were involved and none have been identified by deputies.
Two other teens remain in the hospital while another two have since been released.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said so far no charges have been filed.
Given the chaotic events, Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson says a proper investigation has to be done so they don’t make an improper charge.
“They’ve got a problem here to identify who was the combatants, who was the initial assailant and all of those things have to be processed before an effective charge can be leveled,” Carson said. “If you don’t do that, you end up arresting people who should not be arrested.”
The sheriff’s office said they believe the 13-year-old who died was either in the group who showed up to the house and challenged the boys inside the home to fight them, or was in the other group of boys who came as backup to help the teens inside.
Carson said the only way he sees there not being a charge is if someone was defending themselves.
“If you protect yourself from that and you didn’t instigate it, then of course you could claim self defense, but if that’s not the case, then you’re likely to see a number of people charged with felony murder,” he said.
Action News Jax went to the home where the brawl broke out, but no one answered the door. We also learned who owns the home and when we gave them a call, somebody answered but hung up as soon as we said who we were looking for.
“One of the confusing parts about a case of this magnitude is that you’re going to have a lot of different stories, and texting and social media will clearly play a role in this,” Carson said.
The Clay County School District also said the 13-year-old who died was not a student in their system and wouldn’t say if the other boys involved are. The district spokesperson said they’ll have counseling available for those who need it when students return after Thanksgiving break.
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