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Runaway teens sit in Abilene juvenile detention center

By Shenna Stout, sstout@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 09 2012 06:03:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 09 2012 08:43:35 PM CDT
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Tuesday, the two teens who ran away from New Horizons Ranch in Mills County are now sitting in the juvenile detention center in Abilene.

16-year-old Matthew Wilkins and 14-year-old Brandon Cooper fled from the ranch last Thursday and were found last night in Albany.

The two teens are accused of committing several felonies in Brown and Mills County.

Captain Tony Aaron with the Brown County Sheriff's Office said the two will have to be transferred to Brown County to face a judge in Juvenile Court within 48 hours of their arrest.

There is no juvenile detention center in Brown County.

The teens will be transferred back to the Abilene juvenile detention center if the judge decides to keep them detained until their trial.

James Wilkins, Matthew Wilkins father, said jail may be what is best for his son.

"They may be looking at a whole world of mess right now, but the main thing for me is they are both safe. If they are behind bars, I don't have to worry about looking for my son to see if he's alive or not," said Wilkins.

Wilkins said he has been trying to help his son, Matthew, for a while now.

"You know, we've been really trying to put Matthew on the right track for a lot of time now, several years. We've tried everything we know I think to get Matthew on the right track. I think Brown County and Mills County are going to be his next hope. Maybe jail is the best thing for him. I am sure that's exactly what's going to happen," said Wilkins.

According to the Brown County Sheriff's Office, the teens are facing charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle,  Burglary of a Building, and possibly Burglary of a Habitation.

Those charges are out of Brown County.