Middle Tennessee foster teens to be tried as adults in slayings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that two teenagers charged with fatally shooting their foster mother and her mother-in-law will be transferred to Dickson County Circuit Court and tried as adults.

Seventeen-year-old James Earl Garrett, and 15-year-old Jeffery Byrd Johnson Jr. are charged with first-degree murder in the New Year's Day deaths of Mary Clark and her mother-in-law, Gail Clark.

Judge Andrew Jackson again pointed the finger at the state Department of Children's Services at the hearing Wednesday. Jackson said DCS inappropriately placed the troubled children, and that "the state really dropped the ball in this case."

DCS has maintained that there was nothing in either of the teens' record that would make their placement inappropriate.


Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)