Orange County grand jury indicts 13-year-old on manslaughter charge

State Attorney Aramis Ayala says decision was extremely difficult

Vamari Bostic, 13, is accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old man in Winter Garden. (Image: Winter Garden police)
Vamari Bostic, 13, is accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old man in Winter Garden. (Image: Winter Garden police)

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orange County grand jury indicted a 13-year-old on manslaughter, grand theft and burglary charges one month after the boy was accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old man in Winter Garden.

Vamari Bostic is accused of fatally shooting 25-year-old James Bacon on July 4. Winter Garden police said the two were involved in some sort of ongoing dispute. Bostic is accused of stealing a firearm from a vehicle June 29, according to the indictment.

Police obtained a warrant for first-degree murder for the 13-year-old, who turned himself in hours after the shooting.

The 13-year-old's mother Delores Bostic. and Vamari Bostic's aunt, Gloria Windom, encouraged the boy to turn himself in when Winter Garden police officials identified him as an "armed and dangerous" murder suspect.

Bostic's mother said her son is not a senseless killer.

"A lot of events led up to what happened," Delores Bostic said July 5. "The truth will come out."

On Tuesday, the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office presented its findings to an Orange County grand jury and the jury indicted Bostic on one count of manslaughter with a weapon, grand theft of a firearm and burglary.

After the indictment, State Attorney Aramis Ayala posted a video on social media about the decision.

"We see over and over again that our juvenile justice system and its corresponding laws are both inadequate and dysfunctional," Ayala said. "We can never minimize the impact that the criminal justice process has on people, especially children. And no matter how egregious the crime may be at the hands of a child, we're still dealing with the child."

Ayala said a minor charged with first-degree murder can either recieve 36 months in the juvenile system or a life sentence in an adult prison.

"I found neither of those options appropriate," the state attorney said in the video. "Today, a case was presented to grand jury and a young teenager was indicted. This has been an extremely difficult process, but it's one that was not taken lightly."

Ayala ended the video with a plea to the Florida legislature.

"It is my hope that the legislature has a very clear plan on how to make juvenile justice reform a top priority and the upcoming legislative session," Ayala said. "Because without it, this community's safety as well as the pursuit of justice are both compromised. And Florida deserves better."

A message from State Attorney Aramis Ayala regarding the state of the juvenile justice system.

Today a 13 year old was indicted by Grand Jury on Manslaughter (With a Weapon), Grand Theft of a Firearm and Burglary of a Conveyance. State Attorney Ayala has a message regarding her decision to present this case to Grand Jury.

Posted by Office of State Attorney, Aramis D. Ayala on Tuesday, July 30, 2019