Interlachen teen fatally stabbed

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 11:43 p.m.

A 16-year-old Interlachen boy was stabbed to death during the weekend and a man witnesses said was his friend was charged with manslaughter, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

On Monday, someone burned down the mobile home belonging to the mother of the man who was arrested.

Johnny Junior Ayala, 20, was charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of Raynardo Angel Perez of 203 Dove St., said Maj. Keith Riddick, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

Investigators ruled the fire an arson and believe it was set as retaliation for Perez's death. No one was home when the fire occurred.

Perez was stabbed twice in the stomach Saturday during an argument between the pair, Riddick said.

Perez, who had dropped out of school last year, Ayala and a third friend had been playing video games at Ayala's house just before 7 p.m. when Perez and Ayala got into an argument as Perez and the other friend tried to leave. Riddick declined to release details about the argument.

When Perez tried to leave again, Ayala followed him outside and challenged him to fight. But before any blows were thrown, witnesses reported that Ayala stabbed Perez twice in the stomach with a black, butterfly knife before running away, Riddick said.

A butterfly knife, or balisong, is a small folding knife that can be opened quickly with one hand, according to the Web sites of several knife manufacturers.

Perez was airlifted to Shands at the University of Florida, where he later died from his wounds, Riddick said.

Ayala was later found hiding at a house in Palatka, where he was arrested about 3 a.m. Sunday after being interviewed by detectives, Riddick said.

Calls to Perez's home were not answered Tuesday.

The Putnam County Fire Marshal and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the arson at the home of Ayala's mother. The exact cause and origin of the fire were not immediately known and investigators have not named any suspects.

Anyone with information about the arson is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (386) 329-0800 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 277-8477.

Ayala was being held at the Putnam County jail on a $75,000 bond.

Deborah Ball can be reached at (352) 338-3109 or

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