Mother of teen girl suspected in crime spree arrested

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Crime Spree Teen Says Abusive Family Was Motive For Running.

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Kentucky teenager accused of crimes across the South said that he and his 13-year-old girlfriend were trying to get away from her abusive family.Two teenage runaways described as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde after eluding police in several southern American states during an alleged two-week crime spree have been captured. Hayes told The News Herald of Panama City ( that they just wanted to escape Phillips’ family, who were beating her, and planned to make it to Miami. “All I had to do was tell her to go home and none of this would’ve happened, but it’s hard to tell someone getting beat on to go home,” Hayes said. “But, if I could go back, I’d be paying for bus rides instead of stealing trucks.” The abuse allegations are “something we’ll talk about when they get back to Kentucky,” Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins told The Associated Press. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were the infamous Depression-era outlaw sweethearts and gang leaders who were shot dead by police in 1934 after a two-year trail of robberies and murder.

Hayes and Phillips are accused of nothing as serious, but police said they had been alarmed by their “increasingly brazen and dangerous” behaviour. The tale that has unfolded since — one that includes a string of felonies committed across at least five states before the pair was caught in Florida sleeping in a stolen truck — has left Phillips’ guardians and the parents of her 18-year-old boyfriend, Dalton Hayes, dumbfounded. When they set off on their crime spree, Hayes was already running away from trouble as he was due to face a court hearing for burglary and theft charges following an arrest late last year. 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. Hayes’s mother, Tammy Martin, said her son sent her a text a few days after their disappearance to say the couple were in Mississippi, which would add at least a fifth state to their travels. She said that Cheyenne had portrayed herself as 19 and her son and his family believed her. “She would go in and write cheques, and she would come out with cigarettes and stuff, so I didn’t have any reason not to believe she wasn’t 19,” Mrs Martin said. 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. Peters this week was charged with custodial interference and is being held on a $50,000 full cash bond at the Grayson County Detention Center, according to

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