Juveniles to be charged as adults after burglaries, grand theft, and arson

Bethlehem van

HOLMES COUNY, Fla. – Three juveniles are facing multiple charges following a string of burglary and vandalism occurrences that culminated Wednesday with the theft and arson of a Holmes School District van.

Ethan Riley Lewis, 17, Dillon Travis Leavins, 16, and Cameron Lassiter, 17, are charged in connection to the most recent series of incidents, which began Sunday, May 13, after deputies responded to the report of criminal mischief at Union Hill Baptist Church, where two doors had been damaged in an apparent failed burglary attempt.

The following day, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office responded to Bethlehem School, where a school van had been burglarized, taken, and returned over the weekend, according to surveillance footage. School officials recovered a small amount of marijuana from the van and noted the vehicle had logged 90 miles more than what had been recorded at end of day on Friday.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Sheriff’s Office again responded to the theft of the van, this time gaining an admission from two of the boys that they had taken the van from school property and drove down several dirt roads until stopping at a JJ Whitaker residence. The three juveniles entered the residence and took an unknown amount of paint, which they poured into the van before setting it on fire.

The teens were arrested and charged with arson, grand theft, multiple counts of burglary, and criminal mischief. They have been transported to a juvenile detention facility but are expected to face the charges as adults.

Two of the juveniles were also previously arrested and transported to a juvenile detention facility in Panama City after being charged in connection with the April 27 burglary of Bethlehem School. The third juvenile will additionally be charged in connection with that same burglary.