Accused killer committed to the state at 13

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Kathy Jefcoats


A Riverdale teenager charged in the shooting death, last week, of a Clayton County sheriff's deputy was deemed a threat to the community at 13, and was sent away for almost two years, according to his lengthy juvenile record.

Veasna Johnathan Bun is charged with murder in the death of Deputy Rick Daly, 55, who was killed Wednesday during a traffic stop in Riverdale. Bun had outstanding felony warrants at the time he allegedly opened fire on the deputy, said police. He has reportedly confessed, and is being held without bond in the Henry County Jail.

The Clayton News Daily petitioned for the release of Bun's Juvenile Court records, and they were made available Monday.

Bun, 17, has been in legal trouble since the age of 10, when he was referred to Juvenile Court for bringing a pocketknife to school, the records show. According to the records, Bun was disciplined by school officials for having the pocketknife, but the complaint was dismissed due to his "mental incompetence," (or young age).

Bun has had court appearances every year since age 13, when he was put on probation for delinquent acts of burglary, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and being a runaway.

Little more than a month after the probation adjudication, Clayton Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Steven Teske revoked Bun's probation and ordered him committed for the maximum of two years to the State Department of Juvenile Justice.

A year later, Bun was detained for being a party to the crime of burglary and re-committed to the state for two more years.

Teske said Bun presented enough of a risk, even at age 13, that he was removed from the community.

"The evidence was clear and convincing to us that Mr. Bun was a threat, and he had to be removed," said Teske. "He was committed twice by this court -- the maximum allowed by law -- and removed to out-of-home placements."

At 15, Bun was accused of damaging his mother's house. A complaint of criminal trespass was handled by the Department of Juvenile Justice. The next year, he was referred to court for disrupting a public school. Officials said he got upset with a teacher and pulled a fire alarm.

Last November, when he was 16, Bun was put on six months probation in South Carolina for being a minor in possession of alcohol. His probation ended May 16.

Clayton County Police said that, in January, while on probation, Bun robbed a Forest Park store at gunpoint and made off with $200. It was because of those warrants that Deputy Daly initiated a traffic stop, July 20, on a car in which Bun was a passenger.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents said Bun emerged from the car firing a Glock .40-caliber handgun at Daly, hitting him several times. Bun allegedly fled the scene, but was found five-and-a-half hours later less than a mile away.

Removing a juvenile from his home and committing him to a state facility is an action taken seriously by the courts.

"As judges, we are required to make reasonable efforts in the community [to] prevent removal from the home," said Teske. "When a child presents risks that require treatment away from the home and protection for the community, we are authorized to commit a child to the State Department of Juvenile Justice for out-of-home placement in a secure facility, residential facility or outdoor therapeutic program."

The commitments expire when the youthful offender turns 17, the age at which -- in Georgia -- a person is treated legally as an adult. Bun was 17 in May.