Troubled Teens Who Kill
One morning Andrew Mantas, a teen who had prior run-ins with the law, substance abuse problems and who had already been expelled from two schools in two years, decided to slaughter his mother and two sisters. It is a case that exemplifies many of the concerns that the juvenile justice system struggles with in dealing with violent troubled teenagers.
There simply aren’t enough juvenile psychiatric facilities to deal with teens like Mantas. As a result, he remains in juvenile detention, his case in limbo until the courts decide whether to force the teen to take his anti-psychotic medication in order to determine if he is competent to stand trial.
But what about before he committed these murders? Could any type of intervention, such as brat camps or other therapy intensive programs have deterred him from this course? His divorced father Peter struggles with those answered questions.
“Peter… says Contra Costa County’s family courts are at least partly to blame for what happened to his ex-wife. According to Peter, the courts ignored warning signs about Andrew’s behavior, failing to order the boy committed to a treatment program despite evidence that he was in need of an intervention.
Court records show Peter had been trying to persuade Dimitra and the court to order Andrew to attend a special out-of-state wilderness camp for troubled teens — a move he said he believes might have helped save Dimitra’s life.
“I was begging for help. (The court) did nothing,” Peter said.”
By Ann Walker