GULF BREEZE, Fla. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy accused in the Christmas Eve stabbing and bludgeoning death of his mother will be charged as an adult, prosecutors said Thursday.
State Attorney Bill Eddins told The Associated Press he would file a second-degree murder charge on Thursday against William Brandon Aydelott. He said he would also request that the charge against the Gulf Breeze High School senior and baseball standout be upgraded to first-degree, premeditated murder by a grand jury in the coming weeks.
Aydelott could face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Eddins says the 17-year-old boy, who turns 18 on Feb. 22, would be moved out of juvenile custody immediately and placed in a segregated section of an adult jail.
"Because of the overall nature of the crime, it is our conclusion the circumstances were such that we should seek first-degree murder charges," Eddins said.
Under Florida law, prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty because Aydelott is not 18.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Aydelott confessed to attacking his mother with kitchen knives and a baseball bat after the two had an argument.
Sharon Aydelott, a longtime middle school science teacher, died at the scene. The sheriff's office said the teen was found hours later at a nearby home, where he surrendered.
Randy Renfroe, Aydelott's baseball coach at Gulf Breeze High School, said the Aydelotts were getting a divorce and that William Aydelott, who goes by Brandon, appeared to be having a tough time with that.
"We are just in shock and disbelief," Renfroe said.
He said Aydelott had a bright future and was likely a candidate for a college baseball scholarship because of his pitching skills.
The coach said the 6-foot-3, 189-pound athlete never showed signs of aggression, even when calls on the field did not go his way.
Refroe said Aydelott's family was supportive of his baseball ambitions and often showed up to cheer him on at games.
Renfroe said that he hoped authorities would consider "all aspects" of Aydelott's life and that he was disappointed to hear the teen would be charged as an adult.
The school district has called in crisis counselors to help students. The coach said he planned to meet with his baseball players on Friday.
Brandon Aydelott's Facebook page, last updated in October, featured a picture of his baseball team gathered in prayer on a baseball field.
His mother frequently updated her Facebook page with pictures of bright flowers. The page said she liked Joel Osteen Ministries, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Adele.
Funeral services for Sharon Aydelott had not been announced Thursday afternoon.