LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A teenager accused of killing his father, faced a judge for the first time this morning. Cape Coral Police say 17-year-old Baron Verzi confessed to stabbing his father, 69-year-old Thomas Verzi Sr., to death on Monday after an argument.
There were no family members inside the courtroom. The teenager stood emotionless with his court-appointed public defender. The judge ordered Verzi to be held in secure detention for 21 days. During that time, it will be decided whether or not Verzi will be charged as an adult.
The teenager's public defender asked that his client not be questioned by law enforcement without her permission.
Verzi is charged with second degree murder. Police say officers responded to what was supposed to be a welfare check at the Verzi home in 1100 block of SW 16th Terrace. That's when they found the body of Thomas Verzi Sr. laying in a pool of blood on the living room floor.
Police say they also found Baron at the home, with blood on his clothes from apparent self-inflicted stab wounds. He was treated at the hospital before going to jail.
Baron Verzi will be arraigned on January 15th.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office says Verzi was a patient at the Vista Center on November 9th of this year, due to his father's concern over his son's "recent strange behavior." Shortly after his arrival at the center, LCSO says Verzi fled Vista on foot, but was apprehended a short time later. Officers allege Verzi attacked one of them at that time.
Three days later, deputies say they had to return to Vista after Verzi allegedly battered a staff member and stole the keys. They say he fled once again and was captured by officers. LCSO said they had to deploy their tasers several times to gain compliance from Verzi. The suspect was transported to the hospital for treatment.
The next day, officers responded to the hospital in reference to a report that Verzi had attacked his father, a deputy and a security officer at the hospital. Versi was secured by several deputies, and was susequently medicated by the hospital staff. It was determined that Versi was unable to formulate criminal intent, due to his lack of mental capacity.