Mom of 14-Year-Old Joyrider: He's Not a Murderer

“Words can’t express how sorry I am.”

For Barbara Newton, that sorrow is not only for the grieving family of 22-year-old Daniel Fouracre, but also for her 14-year-old son, whose life will never be the same.

Daniel was killed early Thursday morning after a car accident in Northeast Philadelphia.

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Barbara’s son, Winston Charleston, had taken her keys and Chrysler without her permission for a late night joyride at 2 a.m. while she was asleep.

The boy lost control of the car after speeding through a red light without his headlights on from 95 North onto Academy Road. That’s when he crashed head-on with a red Volkswagen. 

Fouracre, a passenger of the Volkswagen, was killed. His girlfriend and the driver, Jessica Feldman, went into surgery for an injured arm. Charleston also hit another car though the passengers of that vehicle are expected to be okay.

“I know that my son is sorry,” said Barbara. “I’m sorry that it happened. I wish I could change it.”

Barbara told NBC10 that her son had recently completed a behavior class at the 15th police district after loitering with other kids in an abandoned home. In spite of his troubles, Barbara also says that her son loves basketball and attends church. He had hinted to her on many occasions that he wanted to drive her car but she always refused.

“I told him when he was older he could drive.”

Charleston is charged with murder, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle and other related offenses.

While Barbara says that her son was wrong, stupid and foolish for what he did, she doesn’t believe that he should face adult murder charges. Instead, she claims that his decision to go on the joyride and speed without headlights on is proof of his lack of maturity.

“He’s not a murderer,” said Barbara. “He’s a 14-year-old child who made a mistake. We love him and we’re going to make sure he knows that we love him.”

For Barbara, the guilt that Winston will carry with him is punishment enough.

“He has to live with it for the rest of his life.”

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