Man suspected of Mebane home invasion thwarted by 11-year-old with machete appears in court

Orange County News

MEBANE, N.C. (WNCN) – The man whose home invasion was thwarted by an 11-year-old Mebane boy armed with a machete made his first court appearance Monday afternoon.

The 11-year-old boy’s grandmother was also in the courtroom fighting back tears. The family wanted Jataveon Hall’s bond to be set higher. The district attorney called Hall a flight risk, so the judge increased his bond from $100,000 to $175,000, but the family said they won’t feel safe until the other two suspects are arrested.

Brayden Smith expected to spend his summer playing baseball and going to camp, but he started it off in a way he never could have predicted.

“When he came in the room, he pointed the gun at me and he told me to sit down on the ground and get in my closet,” Smith said.

Deputies said 19-year-old Jataveon Hall put the boy in a closet and was in the middle or ransacking the home when the boy whacked him over the head when a machete.

“If I didn’t do anything about it, he could’ve taken me with him,” said Smith. “He could have done anything.”

Hall is in custody after being arrested in Burlington Sunday afternoon. Before that, Hall managed to slip out of UNC Healthcare Hospital in his hospital gown Friday night. It wasn’t until the next morning that hospital police or the sheriff’s office even realized he was missing.

“The point isn’t to blame somebody or say who’s fault it is,” said Alicia Stemper, Director of Public Services with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “The goal is to find out why something that has worked so well for so long broke down in this instance so we can make sure that we cover that kind of break down from ever happening again.

Stemper said they have a long-standing arrangement with hospital police that has worked well for years. They are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong in this case. 

“He was not under arrest yet,” Stemper said regarding why Hall didn’t have any deputies guarding him. “Meanwhile, our deputies went and took out warrants and made sure the hospital knew that we had warrants, but he was not yet in our custody. If he had been arrested first and had needed medical care, that’s a different scenario than what we had, and we all regret that something didn’t happen that should’ve happened. We wish there had been more eyeballs on him.”

Stemper said the sheriff’s office is working with the hospital to review their policies to make sure this never happens again.

Two other suspects in the case are still at large — a man and a woman who were seen outside the boy’s house during the home invasion. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

Hall is due back in court on July 8.

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