News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011
EVANS, Ga. -- The FBI says in 2009, almost two million minors were arrested in the U.S. and it's a number that continues to grow.
Just this week, nine juveniles have been arrested for violent crimes in Aiken and Columbia counties.
From accusations of armed robbery to murder plots, it's a trend that has some people on edge.
Leanna Dyches has 2-year-old twins. She was surprised to hear how many juveniles have been arrested for violent crimes just this week.
"With it being so close to home, sometimes you turn on the news and you hear about horrible things states away but here, you know, it's scary," she said.
The most recent arrests have rocked Greenbrier High School where two teenagers are accused of plotting to kidnap and kill a classmate.
"Being a mom with young children, it scares me to think that they'll be in the school system and who knows what they'll come across as they're growing up in the system," Dyches said.
Investigators say a 15-year-old unnamed female was the mastermind behind the plot. They say she asked a friend, 17-year-old Christian Annis to help beat a female classmate with a crowbar. A third student told a teacher.
The female suspect's mother sat down with News 12. She blames bullies for her adopted daughter's behavior.
"This child is not an angel, but she's not the devil. I know for a fact that she has been bullied at school from the very beginning," the parent said. "She comes home from school many days teary eyes and upset."
The mother says the school could have done more to help the situation before it escalated to this.
"She knows that nothing has been done at school to help her. Nothing at all," she said. "So maybe this was her way of trying to scare the person away."
And earlier this week, five teenagers were arrested after a home invasion in a Grovetown neighborhood.
"If you open your door and you think it's just some kids coming to your door or something, then it's children with guns. It's unreal really," Dyches said.
It's not just Columbia County. Monday in Aiken a 10-year-old pulled a gun on a neighbor when she joked about taking his Halloween candy.
"You just hope all parents can be in tune to what their children are doing," Dyches said.
News 12 talked with Greenbrier Principal Chris Seagraves. He says he cannot talk about a specific student's file to tell us if this student ever reported any bullying or not, but he does assure us when any teacher or administrator gets a bullying complaint they handle it immediately.