Police: Community pressure helped juvenile suspect turn himself - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police: Community pressure helped juvenile suspect turn himself in

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The teenager accused of shooting and killing an East Side store owner on Labor Day is now at the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.

16-year-old Deuntray Kellogg is charged with felony murder and especially aggravated robbery.

On Wednesday, Chattanooga Police shared his name, age and picture on social media and Kellogg was added to the TBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list.

Hours later, police say Kellogg turned himself in.

"He did do the right thing. He did turn himself in," said Police Chief Fred Fletcher, "and that people who knew where he was, didn't violate any laws by harboring him from justice."

Fletcher said Kellogg turned himself in around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, and peer pressure from the community was what made him do it.

It's not often a juvenile's information is shared with the public before an arrest is made, that decision was made by Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw.

In the three years Judge Philyaw has been behind the bench he has only released a juvenile's information twice. The first time was in the search for 17-year-old Cortez Sims in January.

Both times the juvenile was accused of murder and was on the run from police.

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"I'm sure it made him think, I've got no where to run, I'm not going to be able to get away, they are looking for me, I'm going to probably give myself up," said Juvenile Court Administrator Sam Mairs, "And that is the best case, that is the ideal scenario, that's exactly why the judge did this the way he did it."

By law, a juvenile court judge can release information in a petition if the juvenile is older than 14 years of age at the time the incident occurred. And the juvenile must be accused of a serious crime (murder, aggravated rape, aggravated robbery). 

The judge can decide to release that information to help make an arrest - but also considers the safety of the suspect, the safety of police and the safety of the community in his decision.

Mairs says national crime numbers show juveniles are breaking the law more often.

"Those numbers also tell us that the severity and the violent nature of the crimes that the juveniles are creating are also stepping up," Mairs said.

Channel 3 archives show six Chattanooga juveniles have been arrested for murder since 2010. 

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16-year-old Kellogg is the youngest to be arrested for murder in five years. 

The school superintendent's office says Kellogg was not enrolled in any Hamilton County school.

Police say anonymous tips started coming in once Kellogg's picture began circling social media.

"A good deal of that came directly from the community," Fletcher said, "Because they want people like this to be held accountable for their actions that jeopardize their neighbor."

The District Attorney's Office has petitioned to have Kellogg transferred to criminal court and tried as an adult. A transfer hearing has been scheduled for October 1st. 

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