EXCLUSIVE: Mother of suspect in Trayvon Harris case, speaks - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Mother of suspect in Trayvon Harris case, speaks

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Tabatha, mother of suspect connected in Trayvon Harris case Tabatha, mother of suspect connected in Trayvon Harris case
PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

The 16-year-old suspect in the shooting death of Trayvon Harris - also 16-years-old, appeared in Juvenile court Monday. 

The teenager's mother, along with another relative and a family friend, were in court, to support the young man.

Each of them, huddled next to the other, anxiously awaiting information on what the next steps would be.

The teenager was wheeled into the courtroom, still injured from the gun shot wound to his leg, after being shot during the October 30th confrontation. 

Minutes after the hearing began, his public defender, Maggi Wettstein, asked to be withdrawn from the proceeding due to a conflict of interest. 

Wettstein never explained what that conflict was, but presiding Judge Mark Gilles granted her request and assigned a new public defender.

Wettstein also requested the suspect be released from the custody of the Juvenile Detention Center with an electronic device. 

She stated the teenager was prescribed specific medication after being released from the hospital, the day of the incident, and has only been receiving over the county medication like Tylenol, not the proper meds prescribed.

Judge Gilles denied that request, at the recommendation of  Shiovhan Smith, Assistant State's Attorney for Juvenile division - who explained the minor's prior criminal history shouldn't warrant that.

Gilles told the courtroom that he would ensure the teen be given the proper medication while he remained at the juvenile detention center.

The suspect's mother, Tabatha  - whose name is still being withheld to protect the anonymity of her son  - expressed that if the judge had granted the request, she wouldn't want her son released.

"They might be ready to retaliate. I'm not ready to bury my son. So with that being said...it's security risks. I'd rather for him to be where he's at and be safe than be out here on the streets and something go wrong." said Tabatha. 

Tabatha also expressed her condolences to the family of Trayvon Harris, saying she would like to attend his funeral and pay her respects.

When asked what her message would be to other young men who could face the same possible fate as her son because of illegal possession of a firearm, she pleaded for local youth to develop productive hobbies and put the guns down.  

Tabatha did not excuse her son's behavior, in her comments after the court hearing said "I can give him the advice, I can give him the knowledge and the wisdom, but it's up to him to follow proper protocol."

Tabatha and other family members of the suspect will be back in Peoria County Juvenile Court November 9th at 1:30pm.  

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