In a recent development, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman announced that the 14-year-old charged with murder following a fatal stabbing at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School could face trial as an adult. The incident, which resulted in the death of 15-year-old Delvin Ferrell, has prompted a reevaluation of safety measures in Wake County schools.
Freeman indicated that a probable cause hearing for the accused is expected to take place no sooner than 10 days from now. If the judge finds probable cause for murder, the case will automatically be escalated to Superior Court, where the 14-year-old suspect will be tried as an adult. This case is notable in Wake County for being possibly the first instance of a student facing murder charges for an incident occurring on school grounds, as per Freeman’s recollection.
The source of the weapon used in the stabbing, a key detail in the investigation, remains undisclosed. Freeman did not confirm whether the weapon was brought from home or provided by another student.
Recent data from the North Carolina Department of Instruction for the 2021-22 school year reveals that Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School has a higher rate of reported crimes per 1,000 students compared to the district average. This includes various offenses, ranging from alcohol possession to weapons possession and sexual assault. The school reported 13 instances of students bringing weapons, none of which were firearms, during that period.
The rise in crime rates has been accompanied by an increase in juveniles charged with homicide, a trend that Freeman finds alarming. This uptick has been observed not just in Wake County but across the state.
In response to growing concerns about safety, parents and students have expressed a desire for metal detectors in schools, a security measure currently not in use by Wake County. Board Chair Lindsay Mahaffey, addressing these concerns in a recent closed-door security meeting, emphasized the need for continuous evaluation of safety protocols. She noted that some measures are kept confidential for security purposes.