16-year-old charged as adult with possession of four firearms, battery on an inmate
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Demetrius Marcell Cowart, Jr., 16, was arrested on March 22 and was charged as an adult on April 6 for four counts of possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent (a juvenile who has been convicted of a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult). On March 24, he was charged with battery by a person in a detention facility after allegedly hitting another juvenile in the head with a chair while in the juvenile detention facility.
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) detectives became aware of Cowart in January 2022, when he was 15 and was stopped with an adult outside Majestic Oaks. During the stop, both Cowart and the adult were allegedly in possession of firearms, and the adult had narcotics. The firearm Cowart was carrying had been reported stolen in a recent vehicle burglary. Both subjects were arrested, but according to the March 2, 2023 arrest affidavit, the State Attorney’s Office was “unable to prosecute” Cowart and had to drop the charges against him.
However, detectives continued to monitor Cowart’s social media accounts because of his involvement with a group, known as YNL, that was part of a racketeering investigation. Several days after the above charges were dropped, Cowart allegedly began posting on Instagram again. On March 5, 2022, he allegedly posted a Story with firearms and was subsequently arrested for firearm possession by an adjudicated delinquent. Two firearms were recovered in that investigation, and one of them was reportedly shown in his social media videos.
Cowart was adjudicated a delinquent in that case on March 30, 2022 and was sentenced to a Juvenile Commitment Program for charges that included armed burglary, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent, and firearm possession by a person under 18 years of age.
During his sentencing hearing, Cowart reportedly testified about his gang involvement with YNL. Eleven members of this group were indicted a few months later for crimes including robbery, homicide, firearm charges, and other racketeering activities.
Cowart was released from the Juvenile Commitment Program on February 14, 2023 and was on post-commitment probation with an electronic monitor before his March 22 arrest. After his release, an ASO detective began monitoring his social media accounts again and reportedly saw posts that showed Cowart with several different firearms inside his mother’s home. The detective also suspected that the Instagram account might have been used to sell narcotics.
A search warrant for the home was obtained and was executed on March 22. The search reportedly produced a box of .22 LR ammunition, a Taurus magazine, a Kydex holster, a loaded .22 LR rifle, a baggie containing marijuana, and a digital scale. A picture of the same rifle was reportedly posted on Cowart’s Instagram account on March 20.
On March 24, while being held at the Juvenile Detection Center, Cowart allegedly picked up a chair and hit another inmate in the head. He then allegedly jumped over the victim’s desk and hit the victim multiple times. Cowart was placed in solitary confinement following the incident.
On April 6, Assistant State Attorney Daniel Owen filed formal charges against Cowart for possession of a tan and green Taurus handgun (two counts), a pink semi-automatic handgun, and a Glock handgun.
Cowart has a juvenile history between 2020 and 2023 and is on juvenile probation. The four firearm possession charges and the battery charge have all been transferred to adult courts, and Cowart was moved to the adult jail on April 10; Judge David Kreider set bail at $50,000 for each firearm charge and $40,000 for the battery charge, for a total of $240,000.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Even 16 year olds can get firearms. You should too, (if you’re legally able). Somehow I don’t think a little incarceration will do him much good.
If he’s released he’ll have his fingers on the trigger of another firearm in no time and it may be you the muzzle’s pointing at.
Best be prepared and have one to point back at him. Give him something to fear since he obviously has no fear of the justice system.
Even turning rat was only a way to get back onto the streets to continue his crime. The state attorney’s office is so lax in wanting to prosecute these kids. Sooner or later he will meet the wrong person or the right armed citizen. What does YNL stand for anyway.? What a bunch of dummies using social media to brag and conduct criminal activities.
Look it up on urban dictionary.
Yo, ‘Nother Loser.
Of all things, it’s a Korean rapper….SMH
Another productive dumb ass the rest of us will be supporting until another gang member or lawful citizen shoots him in self defense to rid the rest of us of this failed human.
WTF are cops going to so much trouble while the DA sits around counting his paychecks? There needs to be changes to state justice system, a 3 strikes referendum, and export repeat offenders to 3rd world prisons. Now.
Agreed. Why was the prior charge cancelled due to “unable to prosecute “?
There are lots of reasons a case may have probable cause to arrest but not be prosecutable. The standard of proof is different for trial than for arrest. If there was a problem with the stop, the SAO isn’t going to call out the LE agency, they just dump the case and move on. Many of the dropped charges are hints of unwinnable casework.
How many existing firearms laws did he violate already and he STILL has them. So…..libs want yet more firearms restricting legislation to impose more barriers to law abiding citizens obtaining and owning them instead of putting away the criminals who won’t follow the existing laws? Explain the logic in this stupidity.
He’s a minor and his parents should be held responsible.
Is this one of those disruptive students ACSB is dealing with? How come he’s not in Tony Jones’ Reichert House?
How many participants are in Reichert house and what’s its annual budget?
Same ‘ol same ‘ol, same ‘ol group.
Prisons for many inmates are Universities of crime. Prisoners are released with more criminal knowledge than when they entered.
The thing is…they will eventually come out of prison. And when they do, society will suffer.
We need to reexamine the pupose of our prison system and see what can be done to rehabilitate those that can. We’ve been incarcerating people forever and hoping for the best.
It ain’t working.