Mother Of Kentucky Teen Suspected In Multistate Crime Spree Arrested

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Crime Spree Teen Says Abusive Family Was Motive For Running.

PANAMA CITY — A Kentucky teenager accused of a string of crimes across the South said in a jailhouse interview that he and his girlfriend were trying to escape her abusive family and that he wishes he had bought bus tickets instead of stealing trucks as they moved toward Florida.The mother of one of the two teenage sweethearts from Kentucky who are suspected in a multistate crime spree of stolen vehicles and pilfered checks has been arrested. Officials say Dalton Hayes, 18, and girlfriend Cheyenne Phillips, 13, began their run from the law and their families earlier this month when they vanished from their small hometown of Leitchfield, Ky. Sherry Peters is accused of taking 13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips from her father’s house when she did not have the custodial rights to do that, according to an arrest warrant provided by Grayson County detention center chief deputy Bo Thorpe.

The trip has brought the pair national attention — with some even likening them to Bonnie and Clyde, a comparison Hayes’ mother called ludicrous — along with a laundry list of expected charges, including burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and unlawful taking. The Harts said their great-granddaughter must have been lured into the trip by Hayes, but his parents, Tammy Martin and Henry Hayes, say Phillips — who they call a compulsive liar — is equally to blame. Grayson County authorities have not yet nailed down exactly where the couple went and what they did between Jan. 4 and 18, but they allege the pair committed multiple crimes, including stealing three trucks, cashing forged checks and running from police.

Hayes waived his extradition rights on Monday in a Florida court, and Phillips has been taken to a “safe location” until arrangements could be made with her family, according to a spokeswoman for Florida’s Department of Children & Families. “I know they’re getting fed, and I know they’re not cold,” Henry Hayes said Monday. “So that’s one good thing. It could have been worse.” Henry Hayes and Martin said their son had been in trouble in the past, causing enough problems as a juvenile that he was sent to an all-boys group home.

But they never thought he was capable of racking up the crimes police allege occurred during his two-week journey with Phillips. “He’s a really nice kid, polite,” Martin said. “He’s got a lot of character. The couple did normal teenage things, like watching movies, and nothing appeared off about the relationship — especially because Phillips told Hayes she was 19, Martin said.

But Glendon Hart said there’s no way Hayes and his parents could have believed his great-granddaughter was that old. “You can tell by looking at her she’s not 19 years old,” he said.

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