Murder of Lyric Woods and Devin Clark: Outrage as 17-yr-old accused of killing teens to be tried as juvenile
ORANGE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: The Orange County authorities are hard at work investigating the double murder case of teens Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18. The teens were found on a country trail with at least 10 bullet wounds on their bodies. The officials previously explained that they have a suspect who is still on the run. However, this 17-year-old suspect is said to be charged as a juvenile if and when he is arrested.
Charles Blackwood, the sheriff, explained on Tuesday, September 20, that even though the unidentified alleged killer was on the run, charges had been filed but as a juvenile. As per a 2019 law, which states that the 17-year-old would avoid adult charges, the charges would initially be filed as a juvenile but if the person is then charged with first-degree murder, the case would automatically move to adult courts. The suspect has not been named yet. Woods was a ninth-grader who studied at Cedar Ridge High School in Efland and the other victim Devin Clark, was a talented football player for Eastern Alamance High School.
In an official statement, Orange County Sherrif's office said, "Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood announced this afternoon that the investigation into the deaths of Devin Clark, 18, and Lyric Woods, 14, led authorities to seek a juvenile petition against a 17-year-old for two counts of first-degree murder. Juvenile court personnel with the Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention filed the petition this afternoon." Lyric Wood's grandfather Stan Dean has offered a $10,000 reward for information regarding the suspect. He previously told News & Observer that he was "living a nightmare." He put lights on Wood's cross as "she was afraid of the dark."
17-year-old suspect being tried as juvenile in double-murder case causes backlash
The news of charging the murder suspect as a juvenile upset a lot of people as they wanted the alleged killer to be tried as an adult because of the nature of the crime. One user said, "This person murdered 2 people!! Said person should be tried as an adult!" Another user wrote, "Tried as a juvenile? Death penalty or life isnt enough for the pain both sets of parents will do life from here on out because of this crime taken out on their kids. Death here should be as close as it can be to the pain these kids went through. Federal Prison with cable and such isn't justice in this situation.
Another angry user condemned the law and wrote, "The law needs to be changed, this 17-year-old knew exactly what he/she was doing. Old enough to point the gun and take two lives, old enough to pay the consequences. No excuses." Another angry user said, "The 17-year-old knew right from wrong and had no business with a gun, so his parents need to be held accountable as well. He needs to be charged as an adult and put in prison for life! The death penalty isn't good enough for what he did."
Two men riding their four-wheeler bikes located the dead bodies of the friends near a powerline around 3 pm in the western part of the county as per The Orange County Sheriff’s department. Blackwood commented on the progress of the investigation saying, "We will now work with local, state, and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system. I want to thank the families of Devin Clark and Lyric Woods for trusting us and the investigative process during this excruciatingly painful time. I hope the imminent apprehension of this subject will bring them some comfort as they mourn their loved ones."