Suspects in elderly man's beating face judge in first appearance

TAMPA - Two of three suspects in a brutal attack on an 83-year-old man in Pinellas Park faced a judge for the first time Friday morning. 

Jazmine Burney, 15, and 13-year-old Xavier Peterson officially heard the charges they face in a case that has caused the community to react in outrage. 

Both Burney and Peterson showed very little emotion as they were brought into court sporting handcuffs Friday.

You may also be surprised at who decided not to show up. 

“Good morning.  Is there someone here who belongs to you today?,” asked Pinellas County Circuit Judge Lorainne Kelly when addressing Burney.

As Burney gazed around the court room, she quickly realized her family was not there and the teen was left standing alone to hear her charges for the first time.

“The reason we’re here is it is alleged that you used forced violence or assault to put Charles Edward Clark in fear,” said Judge Kelly.

Along with two others, including Peterson, the teen violently attacked 83-year-old Charles Clark as he was removing oxygen tanks from his car trunk early Tuesday morning. 

Each of the teens have extensive criminal records, with all three already facing charges on previous crimes.

The judge was not impressed to say the least, authorizing the teens to remain behind bars until their arraignments. 

The youngest of the bunch faces grand theft charges for returning to the scene less than 24 hours after the attack and stealing Clark's car. 

Because of the brutal nature of the crime, the court has not decided whether to charge the teens as adults. 

The high-profile case has led the judge to issue strict instructions to the defendants when it comes to speaking out about the case. 

“Ms. Burney its very important that you not speak about the facts of this case to anyone but your attorney,” said Judge Kelly. “If someone asks you about the case, besides your attorney, you need to say 'I don’t know what your talking about.'”

Jazmine Burney will return to court for her arraignment on April 22.

A future arraignment date for Xavier Peterson will be set pending a behavioral evaluation. 

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