BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – A juvenile charged with allegedly killing Southern University student JoVonté Barber during a carjacking will be going to adult court after a judge ruled that there is enough probable cause.

This is the latest case in a troubling trend involving Baton Rouge teens who are accused of violent crimes including murder, according to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore.

“We have outpaced last year which was a really worse year ever, so that is not a good number for us,” Moore said.

Moore says the number of juveniles committing these crimes is increasing compared to previous years.

“Fortunately we are at least one more than last year and last year was a horrible year with 15 juveniles charged with second-degree murder,” Moore said. “And we still have several months to go.”

During a press conference in September, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced that there are eight gangs or groups wreaking havoc in the city. Moore said the youths of the area are not excluded.

“More and more juveniles are being involved with groups or gangs, they are involved with weapons with not only semi-automatic weapons but with automatic weapons, machine guns with ghost guns,” Moore said. “This is a community issue that we have to deal with, I think everything starts in the home, everything starts in school, with public school and so we need to take a look at why our youngsters are begin attracted to groups of gangs.”


One of those juveniles is sixteen-year-old De’Arius Ellis who is charged with first-degree murder after allegedly shooting and killing a Southern University student during a carjacking in March. A judge has ruled there is enough probable cause.

“That means that case is automatically transferred to the district court or adult court where he will be treated as an adult,” Moore said.

Moore said the next step for the Ellis case involves his team picking a grand jury date.