A 16-year-old youth was fatally shot in the back last summer on an East Side street as he walked away after fighting another teen, a prosecutor revealed Tuesday at the murder trial of a now-15-year-old suspect who did not fight that day.
“Senseless, shocking and tragic, that is what this case is about,” homicide prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable told an Erie County Court jury at Myles Taylor’s trial
“A 16-year-old is dead, and a 14-year-old has been charged. All the witnesses agree the defendant shot the victim,” she said, although they differ on some of the details, including the number of gunshots.
Defense attorney John J. Molloy agreed that it was a tragic case, “a careless, reckless shooting,” but he said the question is, “Did Myles Taylor intend to kill this young man, or did someone else do it?”
He urged jurors to evaluate the truth of witnesses’ testimony and the likelihood of what they say happened that sunny Saturday afternoon on Northland Avenue between Jefferson Avenue and Humboldt Parkway .
Taylor, who turned 15 in December, is charged as a juvenile offender with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the July 6 slaying of Kelmyne Jawon Jones, who died from a single gunshot wound.
As a juvenile offender, Taylor faces a maximum prison term of 15 years to life if convicted, instead of the maximum 25 to life an adult would face.
Curtin Gable told the jury that Taylor and a friend were hanging out on the friend’s porch that afternoon and were joined by two other boys, a girlfriend and her young cousin.
Shortly after 4 p.m., Jones, who lived on Goulding Avenue, and a group of four or five other teenagers came down Northland. Taylor’s friend, who had a beef with Jones, exchanged words with Jones and the two started fighting, according to the prosecutor.
Jones and Taylor’s friend eventually stopped fighting, she said. Jones was walking away when Taylor got a gun from under bushes at a nearby house, one witness said, and shot Jones in the back.
Two other boys who were fighting then fled, along with the rest of the boys on the street, Curtin Gable said.
She said Taylor later joined his friend, who had fought Jones, and another boy, who had been at the fight, at the other boy’s home. She said Taylor told them he got hit from behind during the fight and that he then shot Jones and hid the gun by a fence behind the other boy’s home.
She said the other boy got a call from Taylor about 3 a.m. the next morning asking him if he had the gun. When the boy told him no, Taylor told him he would come and get it, she said.
A neighbor who heard the gunshot called police, and about 15 minutes later, she found Jones’ body in the driveway of a nearby child care center and called police again, the prosecutor said.
That neighbor’s aunt described to police the boy she saw get a gun from under the bushes in front of her house and shoot the victim. The aunt said the shooter had braided hair and lived on Northland; she identified Taylor.
The boy who had fought Jones told police the fight had ended and Jones was walking away from the others when Taylor got a gun and shot him, according to the prosecutor.
Curtin Gable said Taylor turned himself in to police July 10. In the meantime, his hair had been cut, and he no longer had braids, she said.
She said police never found the murder weapon. She said a shell casing was recovered near the shooting scene.