FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Baron Verzi was escorted into the video conference room in the Lee County Courthouse by several Sheriff's Deputies for his first appearance Saturday morning. The 17-year-old was handcuffed and dressed in a suicide jacket.
He listened as a Lee County Judged ordered him held without bond on a second-degree murder charge. He's accused of stabbing and killing his father, Thomas Verzi Sr. on December 17th. Baron doesn't turn 18 for another two weeks, but the state is trying him as an adult in the death of his father.
"Typically in these kinds of cases, especially when you have a particularly brutal homicide, we do bump up the defendants, even at 17, into adult court," said Asst. State's Attorney Marie Scalise.
According to newly released documents, Verzi told detectives when they arrived that his father was "in a better place" and "in heaven." Authorities say Verzi also apologized and told them the knife he used to stab his father came from the car. He also told detectives he stabbed his dad more than once.
Another son, Thomas Jr. told police he was worried about his father's safety. He told them Baron was not acting normal on the phone. Thomas Jr. called his dad's cell phone which Baron answered. According to the police report, Baron told Thomas "dad was dead."
Detectives say they found the father lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds. Verzi also had blood on his clothing and, according to reports, had stabbed himself.
"It's always some what disconcerting when you allege that a child kills a parent," said Scalise. "There are probably going to be some other issues that are gonna become involved down the line."
Verzi has hired attorney Michael Rosen out of Miami. Mr. Rosen was not in court Saturday morning. The 17-year-old is due back in court on January 14th.