A 15-year-old boy accused of killing his grandmother in southern Whitfield County, Ga., showed little emotion when he called police to report finding her lifeless on the bathroom floor.
"He just walked over, asked to use the phone and after he was done, we asked him how he was doing," said Trevin Stover, 20, who lives across the street from the crime scene. "And then he just calmly said, 'Everything has been going good until I came home today and found my grandmother dead.'"
Sheriff's deputies say after questioning the boy, Joshua Jaran Johnson, they decided to charge him with the homicide of his grandmother, Lorraine Frazier, 57. Because of the nature of the crime, authorities plan to charge him as an adult, said Sheriff Scott Chitwood.
"My grandfather lives with us, and if I had come home and saw something like that, I would have been really upset," Stover said. "He just didn't have any emotion at all."
Johnson told police he simply came home from school and found Frazier dead. The initial police report states that deputies discovered her lying face-down on the bathroom floor, apparently strangled with some sort of cord.
Neighbors say the boy went to school that day and a police report suggests he called 911 around 4:30 p.m. When police arrived, Frazier was already dead, the report states.
He was still being housed at the Regional Youth Detention center Monday, the sheriff said. His initial appearance in Superior Court was delayed and he may make a first appearance Friday.
Neighbors say the family, which included Johnson, Frazier and the boy's mother and stepfather, has not returned to the house since the homicide was reported.
The mother "says Josh didn't do it and that there is a murderer on the loose," said Shanelle Hamm, who also lives across the street. "They don't think it's safe to come home."
Along quiet Mary Elizabeth Drive in southern Whitfield County near Resaca, neighbors were stunned by news of the killing, Hamm said. Johnson and his mother and grandmother had been living in the home for only about six months, but they seemed like nice people.
"We sort of had an unofficial neighborhood watch where we looked out for each other," Hamm said.
Chitwood said the teen had not confessed to the crime, but that they believed the evidence suggested he should be charged. The decision to prosecute the boy as an adult was made by Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Kermit McManus.
"What the law is in Georgia is that if they're 13 to 16 years of age, and you're charged with committing one of the seven deadly sins - of course murder is one of those - [then you're tried as an adult]," he said. "Only a Superior Court judge can set a bond in a murder case."