The teen accused of the March 17 shooting death of 15-year-old Jarmaine Walton appeared in court on Thursday for his preliminary hearing.
17-year-old Justin Jones is accused of reckless murder in the case.
On Thursday, the lead detective in the case, Johnathan Ross, told of an interview with a witness about the incident. A friend of Jarmaine Walton said that he was standing near a group of teens when he heard one say, "It's about to go down." After that he says he saw one of the teens hand off a gun to Jones. Det. Ross says the witness told him he became nervous about what he heard and headed back over to where Walton was. A few minutes later they heard a large ‘pow.' The witness he says he ran away from the gun shots and says that's when Walton was hit.
Ross testified Walton was hit in the head with a round from a .38 revolver, which was recovered about 4 blocks away from the scene.
Another witness that spoke to Ross claimed to be the intended target of the shooting. The young man says he was at the park on the day of the shooting and that he had been talking to a girl at the park when he was approached by 15 to 25 members of the Trap gang.
He said the gang members wanted to know what he was discussing with the girl. The witness said that he told the gang members he was not talking to them. He said the gang members then started pulling up their pants and pushing up their shirt sleeves as if to fight. The witness then said he told them he was not at the park for a fight, that he was there to have a good time before walking away. He said that he saw Jones grab his waistband and accidentally fire a first shot before shooting wildly into the crowd. The witness told police Jones was firing in his direction.
Defense attorney Charles Salvagio says he feels the evidence was very weak in the hearing and feels the state has a lot more to prove if the case ever goes to trial.
Judge Shelly Watkins finished the hearing by binding the case over to a grand jury. Jones remains free on a $200,000 bond.
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