FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A new hearing yielded the same result Monday for a Fort Worth family hoping for protection from a teen neighbor. The teen is suspected in repeated home break-ins and reported sexual acts. A judge allowed the boy to return home, within feet of where the alleged victim lives; fitted with an electronic monitor and the promise of 24-hour supervision from his parents.
The decision came in a second detention hearing for the teen. A judge released him within hours of his parents turning him in last week. Tarrant County’s chief juvenile probation officers confirmed that juveniles are typically held until the next business day before they have a detention hearing.
Concern about the initial decision followed a series of break-ins that Stephanie Beamer said started in November at her Fort Worth home. In each case she said, the target was underwear in her teenage stepdaughter’s bedroom.
Beamer said she was home during one break-in, and ran downstairs in time to see someone’s feet disappearing out of a window.
“Being by myself here alone, home alone with my two little ones,” she said. “It was terrorizing.”
Beamer said a friend of her stepdaughter’s made them aware of a posting on the social network Instagram, allegedly by their teenage neighbor. It showed that he had looked through the girl’s window while she was undressed. A later posting, according to Beamer, included a picture of her stepdaughter’s underwear and a description of sexual acts.
Fort Worth police have refused to answer any questions about the case. A source confirmed information about the Instagram postings, which were mentioned in court Monday.
The boy’s parents turned him in on warrants for two charges of burglary of a habitation Wednesday. Beamer said she expected him to stay in for at least a day. But that didn’t happen. Someone from juvenile probation called her to let her know he was released in less than 24 hours.
“I was shocked,” said the attorney and municipal court judge. “I said this boy has been terrorizing our family for a month. Literally, terrorizing our family for a month,” said Beamer. “And no one wants to know, wants to hear about what he’s done?”
The attorney who sources said handled the hearing for the boy, Stephen Handy, did not return calls from CBS 11 News. The chief juvenile probation officer for the county, Randy Turner, said the action wasn’t normal, but does happen periodically. Victim impact is typically part of the process, according to Turner.
In the second hearing Monday, the victim impact was acknowledged. Judge Tim Menikos raised his eyebrows when told of the proximity of the homes of the suspect and victims. Prosecutors indicated there was some concern electronic monitoring would not be able to tell if the boy was in his home or the neighbor’s home. They asked the boy be held or live somewhere else.
After the boy’s parents said didn’t have any other family nearby, and promised to stay with him 24 hours a day, Menikos released him again. But Beamer wasn’t satisfied with their assurances.
“I truly believe that it’s a compulsion-type of crime,” she said. “I don’t think a monitor’s going to stop him. I don’t think his parents can stop him.”
The teen’s parents weren’t home at the time of the three burglaries he’s accused of.
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