Keiondra Everidge was devastated when she learned her 17-year-old son was charged with murder. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 11, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The investigation into the fight that killed 19-year-old Jade Holder is far from over.
The attack happened Monday at the Augusta Youth Development Campus. The coroner says Holder died Tuesday from blunt force trauma to his head.
Now the GBI is charging fellow inmate Michael Everidge with Holder's murder.
Keiondra Everidge sorts through papers about her son Michael.
"He had passed one part of his GED tests," she said.
She just got the updates from the Augusta YDC in the mail. The paperwork says her 17-year-old son would be released in less than two months on Jan. 5.
Now, she's worried she might never see him again.
"All I know is that my child called me yesterday hysterically crying and telling me they were charging him with murder. And that was it. By the time I got down there, my child was gone," Keiondra explained tearfully. "I don't know anything. They couldn't give me no answers, nobody's giving me no answers."
Keiondra says, until now, the Department of Juvenile Justice reported Michael was on the right track.
"He would always stress that to me -- I can't wait to get out of here, I want to get back to school and get my life back together."
But now Michael could face life behind bars, all for a juvenile theft charge his family says put him in the YDC for one year.
"These are kids. These are children we're talking about. These are somebody's loved ones we're talking about," his mother said. "This mother has to bury her child -- and here I have to fight for mine."
Keiondra says she believes there is much more to the story.
"This was a fight. But there's other hands involved with this. It goes beyond what they're saying. The guards who were supposed to be there -- watching these children -- who's supposed to be there guarding these children? They're responsible. Where were you? What happened?"
Earlier this week, News 12 spoke anonymously with a person who has worked in many YDC campuses in Georgia. He says there is a culture of fighting ingrained behind the barbed wire gates.
"It upset me because this is gonna happen to more kids down there," he said. "It's happening to one boy from our hometown right now. Since he's been gone, he's been beat every weekend down in Augusta."
Investigators told Keiondra her son was moved to an adult facility after the murder charges were filed.
The latest she's heard is that he's now at the Augusta State Medical Prison.
"To me it's like -- it's like a nightmare -- when you hear murder. When I heard my son say that ... all I could do was fall to the floor."
Also coming out of this case is a new investigation into contraband on the inside of YDC facilities in Georgia. The Department of Juvenile Justice is conducting an internal investigation into that right now.
She says accident or not, her son should not be the only person charged with this crime.
"There's more involved," she said. "I want the truth to come out."