CARUTHERSVILLE, MO--Growing up fast. Just last week Raymond Allen Johnson was a 14 year-old South Pemiscot student. This week he is being tried as an adult after he allegedly stabbed another student on a school bus.
Johnson is charged with first degree assault, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon.
He looked out of place Thursday as the other adult inmates went before the judge.
However, if he is convicted, being out of place with adults is something he will have to get used to.
"He had problems on the side, but what he did is adult behavior, so I think it is right that he is being tried as an adult," said South Pemiscot student Jessica Devaughn.
Devaughn goes to school with Johnson. The stabbing really hit home with her mother, Patricia Atkinson, because she has another daughter who normally rides that bus. She feels something drastic needed to be done, but is unsure if this is the best way to do it.
"I believe he should be punished, but in my mind I think the boy needed some kind of help," said Atkinson.
Pemiscot County Associate Circuit Judge W. Keith Currie made the decision for Johnson to be tried as an adult.
"Basically the court considers if the juvenile is a proper suspect to be dealt with in the juvenile system," said Currie.
Even though Johnson is just 14, Currie says the nature of the crime, and the intent behind it made for a simple decision.
"In this case based on the statutory factors, I didn't think there was any doubt that the court needed to dismiss this juvenile petition and allow him to be processed as an adult," said Currie.
As Johnson stood in front of the judge Thursday his face showed no expression. The stakes are much higher for him now that he is being treated as an adult and the case no longer sits with juvenile authorities.
"One of the charges he is charged with is a class A felony in Missouri, which carries a punishment in Missouri of 10 to 30 years, all the way up to life," said Currie.
If Johnson is tried and convicted in juvenile court, he would be out free and have a clean record when he turns 17. Students like Devaughn feel even if Johnson isn't found guilty, she doesn't want him back at school.
"He has been suspended and expelled so many times and they keep letting him back in and I just don't think they should let him back in," said Devaughn.
Johnson's family declined any interview requests.
The judge set a date of June 25th for Johnson's probable cause hearing.
Previously Johnson had no bond but Thursday he was given a $250,000 bond. He is currently still in the Pemiscot County Detention Center.