Four teens who escaped a juvenile detention center stole a rifle from a home, according to information released in court Wednesday.
Michael Huggins, the only escapee who is not a minor, was ordered held pending trial after a detention hearing in Atlantic County Superior Court.
Huggins and three others overpowered a corrections officer at the Harborfields Juvenile Detention Center in Egg Harbor City at about 12:20 a.m. Nov. 15.
They then entered a residence in the city, where they took a rifle, Assistant Prosecutor Marisa McGarvey told the judge.
Huggins was found with a gun when he was arrested the next day in Atlantic City. But that was not the stolen rifle, which was found in Egg Harbor City, a law enforcement sources tells BreakingAC. It remains unclear how Huggins got a gun.
Huggins was originally in the facility after being charged in the Oct. 7, 2016 killing of Davonte Lee, 21, in Bridgeton.
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office had him waived up to adult court, and he was indicted Sept. 22.
When juveniles are waived up to adult court, the prosecutor can call for a hearing to move them to adult jail, defense attorney James Gerrow explained in court Wednesday.
That never happened in this case.
Now, he said, “the concern is, where is Michael going to be housed pending trial?”
The murder charge is out of Cumberland County. Charges related to the escape are out of Atlantic County.
Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury said he did not have power over that. But he did have the power to order Huggins detained, citing a violent history, the pending charges out of Cumberland and the escape.
Huggins hospitalized after arrest
Outside the courtroom, Gerrow said that an injury to Huggins’ eye happened during his arrest, when State Police alleged he resisted.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner told media at a press conference shortly after the arrest that he was taken into custody “without incident.”
But that apparently was not the case.
“He was charged with resisting arrest,” State Police Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Flynn told BreakingAC. “He sustained an injury during the course of his resisting.”
Huggins was first taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus for treatment and then transferred to Cooper Health Systems in Camden, Flynn said.
Huggins was discharged and, jail records show, arrived at the Atlantic County Justice Facility the next morning.
Gerrow said he hopes there is body camera footage of the arrest so he can see exactly what happened to his client.
Flynn said not all State Police have body cameras yet, so it was unclear if those involved in the arrest did.
When asked if it was alleged Huggins pulled the rifle on police, Gerrow said he believed it was thrown out a window before the police came in.