KENNER, LA (WVUE) - The teenager accused of beating an elderly Kenner couple with a hammer made his first juvenile court appearance Tuesday.
The father of the 16-year-old suspect collapsed in tears in the courthouse after a judge found probable cause. The teen remains in custody, accused of bludgeoning 89-year-old Phillip Lynch and 70-year-old Anita Lynch with a hammer and then stealing their car.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office now has 30 days to decide whether or not to charge the teen as an adult for two counts of attempted murder.
FOX 8 spoke off-camera with the 16 year old's father. He told us, "My son is not a monster. He was mentally and physically abused as a child…so much so that he has scars on his back from the beatings."
The father said he received custody of his son four years ago, and because of the past abuse, his son never liked to be touched. He said, "I've only hugged my son three times his whole life."
Police said once arrested, the teen admitted to the crime.
"The 16-year-old claims he was asking for a ride," said Kenner Police spokesman Lt. Brian McGregor. "He said the elderly man confronted him about stealing a gun from him in the past, and then he claims that the elderly man reached out and grabbed him, at which time he grabbed the hammer and hit him. That part I don't believe, because the 89-year-old man's only mobility is through a scooter or walker."
The teen suspect's father said, "That guy grabbed him. He didn't want to hurt that guy. He just wanted to leave."
The son the couple said the two were severely beaten.
"Dad's unconscious," said Phillip Lynch Jr. "Anita has come in and out of consciousness for the past 24 hours. She may lose a finger. One of her fingers were partially severed. …They are so disfigured that yesterday when I was in dad's room holding his hand a few inches from his face, he didn't look like my dad. I wouldn't have recognized him.
Lynch Jr. said even though this was a heinous crime, he has no ill feelings toward the suspect.
"I don't think he hated my father," he said. "I don't think there was justification in his heart to do this, I just think that this is a byproduct of the society that we live in today."
The suspect's father said the elderly couple didn't deserve what happened to them. He said, "I haven't prayed for my son once. I pray for them. My heart goes out to their family. I feel so bad."
"This boy needs help," said Lynch Jr. "He needs help from Jesus Christ."