CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last week KRIS 6 News spoke to the family of a 16-year-old boy who was detained by the Corpus Christi Police Department for murder.
As we first reported, the teen, and one other, was arrested in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Caleb Martinez. The family we spoke to told us their son was taken into custody before police had investigated the crime.
According to the Corpus Christi Police Department, "through their investigation, Homicide Detectives were able to determine that the parties were known to each other and quickly identified two suspects."
On February 21, a 16-year-old was arrested at his high school in connection with this shooting, and then on February 22, a second suspect was arrested in Robstown. The teens were interviewed and then booked into the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center.
The teens were later released on February 24, according to CCPD.
Following the arrest of his son at his high school, the 16-year-old's parents told KRIS 6 News they provided surveillance video to detectives proving his innocence.
"As soon as the detectives found that the information they received contradicted what the witness had told the detectives, the detectives immediately notified the DA's office so they could work to get those juveniles released," Corpus Christi Police Lt. Michael Pena said in an interview last week.
The family says although their son was released, they believe he has been impacted emotionally.
"To be protected, that is part of school. And then you are going to go and bombard him there and embarrass him and then make a scene to everybody, and now he has to go back and face all these other things," the 16-year-old's stepmother said.
According to Rebecca Campbell, a licensed marriage and family therapist, this could be traumatic for the boy; especially since he was detained at school, which should be a safe space.
"He was at school to my understanding, which for a child is a safe place, the safest place a child can be," she said.
While being held at the juvenile justice center, his father says he was not allowed to wear his clothing, but rather a "green suit" which is a suicide safety smock.
"Me find out from my son, how he had to be in the detention center, had to shower, what they had him in, no clothes, green suit, mean to me, that's treatment as an adult, he's not even an adult," said the 16-year-old's father.
Campbell recommends that not only the boy receive therapy, but the whole family, as they try to work through their emotions regarding their experience.
"Definitely assumed to be guilty to be treated in such a harsh manner, but like I said before, his sense of safety has been shaken up, he's not going to feel safe for some time," she said .