Teen strangled mom during argument over bad grade, police say

Sheriff: Boy who killed mother is "soulless" sociopath

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer, Nicole Perez - Anchor/Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A 15-year-old boy strangled his mother, 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, after an argument over a bad grade, according to Volusia County Sheriff's Office deputies. 

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters the boy was a "soulless" sociopath. Prosecutors charged him with premeditated murder and a judge decided on Monday that he will be held in jail without bond. 

Detectives believe Cleavanger, a Daytona Beach architect, was in bed when she tried to fight off her son for about 30 minutes before he overpowered her early Friday morning. 

Detectives also accused him of asking two of his 17-year-old friends, Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, to come over his home to stage a burglary. The boy used a wheelbarrow and the family van to take his mother's body to the River City Church and buried her under a fire pit, deputies said.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 15-year-old boy in his mother's murder.

The boy left to school, and after returning home from school on Friday, he told deputies that his mother had vanished. Once the evidence piled up against him, detectives say the boy alleged his mother was abusive and he "had to kill [his mother] before she killed him."

Assistant State Attorney Tammy Jacques says prosecutors are deciding whether to try him as an adult.

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