Vierla Johnson was jailed for allegedly trying to pawn a stolen ring
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Days after a 19-year-old was shot to death in a Summerlin backyard, his mother spoke out from behind bars.
Within the walls of the Clark County Detention Center, Vierla Johnson is left to mourn the loss of her son, Demarcus Carter.
"I can't believe that he's gone. I can't believe that he's dead," she said during a jailhouse interview with FOX5 Friday afternoon.
She was in court Tuesday morning, at the very moment that Demarcus, according to Metro police was trying to break into a home on Spurs Court, near Hualapai and Sahara. He was in the backyard when the homeowner shot him.
"You could've shot him in the leg, you could've shot him in his arm, you could've shot him ... You had to kill him?" Johnson would ask the homeowner.
Police questioned that man, who hasn't been charged with any crime. No one answered the door at the home when we stopped by, but Vierla doesn't believe her son was trying to break-in.
"[He] and my other son always, when they're coming from the store or wherever, they jump those walls to go back to my house because I stay in that area," Johnson contends.
Yet, Demarcus Carter was no stranger to the law. He had been in trouble as a juvenile and was recently charged with burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
He asked his mother to pawn a ring for him, and that is what landed her in jail. The ring was apparently stolen.
"They're really not able to make good decisions," psychologist Dr. Louis Mortillaro said of adolescents and young adults. "They don't think about the consequences of their behavior before they do it."
Mortillaro works in the field of criminal psychology, and said the issue comes down to parenting. Johnson is a single mother who told us she has tried her best while caring for four kids.
But, if that care falls short, "Then violence and anti-social behavior becomes the norm rather than the exception," said Mortillaro.
"I don't believe my son was trying to rob that man's house ... and if I was home, my son would still be living," Johnson said.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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