Gregory Ramos, 15, a University High School student, accompanied by the two friends Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he recruited to help him hide the crime, appeared before Volusia County Judge Angela Dempsey on Sunday morning where Ramos' charges were announced to him.
Ramos ultimately told detectives that he got two friends to help him stage the burglary - 17-year-olds Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, who police say are also facing multiple criminal charges.
"This is where he and his friends would come", County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. After disposing of the wheelbarrow outside of town, Chitwood said Ramos enlisted the help of two of his friends, both 17, to help him dispose of the body and stage a burglary.
The trio kicked in a door and removed items such as a computer, rifle and Playstation, before driving to a nearby church where they buried Gail's body underneath a fire pit.
A judge on Sunday ordered a 15-year-old DeBary teenager, whom authorities said confessed to strangling his mother, to remain in juvenile detention until the next hearing in the case, according to a local state attorney's office.
"He believed he was the smartest person in the room and he continued to tell us his theories of what he believed and why: what happened to his mom and where we should be focusing our attention", Chitwood said. "No sign of remorse whatsoever".
Investigators learned in the confession from Ramos that he strangled Cleavenger to death in a fit of rage after an argument because Ramos received a D in a school subject. The boy initially told deputies his mother was missing.
"We brought him last night to reenact the crime scene, and you would've thought he was going on national television", Chitwood said. All our hearts break for this family.
Chitwood said that Ramos tried to justify his actions as "preemptive self-defense", and was convinced that "he had to kill [Gail] before she killed him".
Greg Ramos wore a blank expression in court as he was appeared in court Monday.
Detectives ultimately found Cleavenger's body in her burial site at River City Church in the early-morning hours Saturday.