Mother of teen accused in multi-state crime spree speaks out - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mother of teen accused in multi-state crime spree speaks out

KINDER, LA (KPLC) -

Last week, KPLC told you about a Kinder teen accused in a multi-state crime spree stretching from Louisiana to Tennessee. Now, the boy's mother is speaking out to set the record straight.

Linda McFarland said she was living a nightmare. The Kinder mother recalled the sleepless nights after her 16-year-old son left town with a friend last Saturday.

"I basically sat at my house for three days rocking back and forth not knowing where he was,"  McFarland said.

McFarland said that so-called friend, 20-year-old Colin Johnson, also of Kinder, told her son's employer he had to leave work because she was hospitalized. According to McFarland, Johnson then told her son he was wanted by Kinder Police.

"He told him the police had wired some of his friends and they were trying to pin some crimes on him. He was coerced. He was lied to and it took a while for him to convince him but he ended up agreeing to run with him because he didn't want to get in trouble and go to jail," McFarland said.

Police said the two made their way from Louisiana to Mississippi, then on to Alabama committing several burglaries and car thefts along the way before McFarland's son was arrested in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"Halfway through the trip, he realized he didn't want to be involved in this and he was actually trying to figure out ways to get away from Colin in order to be able to call me to come and get him. And he was actually relieved when he got picked up in Chattanooga because he did not like what was going on," McFarland said.

But the crime spree apparently wasn't over for Johnson, who managed to make it down to Ridgeland, Miss., where he allegedly tazed a car dealer and stole a Chevy Camaro. According to reports, Johnson took authorities on a chase before being t-boned by police. He now faces a long list of charges in Mississippi.

Meanwhile, McFarland's son is now on house arrest. She said he's not a bad kid, he just got caught up with the wrong person.

"He's made some stupid decisions, but his one of the best kids. He would do anything for anybody. He is working two jobs to help me because I'm struggling as a single mom with three children and he was working two jobs and handing over his entire paychecks to help me pay bills. So, he's not a bad kid," McFarland said.

McFarland's son faces a runaway charge here in Louisiana, but still faces a string of charges in other states. However, McFarland said he's cooperating with police and telling them a detailed account of what happened hopefully to avoid any type of jail time.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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