MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mother of the teen accused of shooting and killing a 10-year old during a nail salon robbery details his troubled life in a letter to a federal judge that’s never been seen before.
CBSMiami.com has obtained a letter written by 19-year old Anthwan Ragan’s mother, Octavia Monique Rauls, before she was sent to a federal prison in central Florida earlier this year. Rauls is doing time for embezzling Social Security Disability checks.
Octavia Rauls wrote a lengthy letter to the Federal Court judge in her defense.
In it she revealed that she was collecting the disability benefits on behalf of her troubled son Anthawn Ragan Jr.
“He has a mental condition and this is why I receive a check to take care of him and used every dime to do it,” she wrote. “If you look at his juvenile history you will clearly see how long he has been in and out of trouble, in school and out. He has been placed in more than 6 schools from the age of 5 because of his behavior issues. l did not realize until he was diagnosed that he had a mental condition and that is why I went to the Social Security Administration for help. I could not provide for him and my daughter alone and really had no where else to turn.”
In the letter, she insisted that she did not know that she could not continue collecting his SSI benefits during the two years he was living in a juvenile program out of Miami-Dade County.
“When he was sent to a program in 2009 it was supposed to be for 6months, and because of his condition and constantly getting into trouble in the program it lasted for more than two years. He was sent to 3 separate programs because of this condition and I was there attending every meeting and visitation because l was concerned for my son. I made more than 20 trips between 2009 and 2010 to assist in any way possible with his treatment program. The locations of the program were in Hastings, Fl., Tampa, Fl. and Jupiter, FL. and l paid for each trip out of my own pocket to see my son.”
She insisted she had not intended to defraud the government.
“I just signed and did not realize at anytime, because of him going to this juvenile program I was supposed to notify social security. This I understand was a very serious oversight on my part and I am sorry for it, but I did not have any criminal intent to committ (sic) any kind of fraud or theft. I just did not know to stop the check because I was not paying attention to what was on the form.”
A jury found Rauls guilty on three of the six charges. She was sentenced on April 16, 2013.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, she is currently doing time at the Coleman Federal Correction Facility northwest of Orlando. Her anticipated release date is April 29, 2014.
Anthwan’s father is also serving a life sentence in prison for first degree murder.
The letter Rauls sent to U.S. Judge Donald Middlebrooks was received by the court on February 6, 2013. It also revealed that Rauls was pregnant.
“I have a fulltime job now and put myself through pharmacy tech school while raising my two children alone. I am engaged and almost 5 months pregnant at this time and my life is headed in the right direction, so I cannot express to you how important it is for me to have you read and understand this letter.
In recent days, Ragan has been connected to another murder last month of 21-year old Luis Perez.
“He’s heartless and he is cold-blooded and he doesn’t hesitate to take anyone’s life,” said North Miami Police Major Neal Cuevas.
Police said Perez was shot multiple times at point-blank range on November 1, 2013 at a Motel 7 at 13445 N.W. 7th Ave. Perez was returning to his room on the 2nd floor.
Ragan is also charged with first degree murder in the death of 10-year-old Aaron Vu on November 22nd.
He was also arrested in connection with an earlier armed robbery at Arnold’s Royal Castle restaurant in the area of Northwest 124th Street and Seventh Avenue in North Miami, on Nov. 9.
Police say surveillance tape showed that Ragan’s face was not covered in both the Royal Castle robbery and the nail salon robbery and shooting.