DETROIT – A man and a teenager have been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of an 8-year-old Detroit boy who was struck by a bullet as he was sleeping, prosecutors said Monday.
Calvin Mosby, 28, and Devaunte Starks, 17, were arraigned Monday and jailed without bond. They also face attempted murder and firearms charges and are scheduled to return to court Aug. 13 for a probable cause hearing. It wasn’t immediately known if they have lawyers.
Jakari Pearson was shot about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday at the Brewster Homes public housing project north of downtown Detroit. The bullet that hit him penetrated a wall at the residence.
Prosecutors have described it as a retaliatory shooting. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says Mosby used to date Jakari’s mother and went to the housing project to threaten her the previous day.
Jakari’s slaying follows the July 1 shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Inkster, southwest of Detroit. Police in that case have said KaMiya Gross was killed in front of her father as retaliation from an earlier shooting. Two men are charged in her death.
“Nothing is sacred anymore,” Worthy said in a statement. “This is the second such incident in a few weeks in which a young child was allegedly deliberately and callously killed to get back at their parent. It is troubling on multiple levels and illustrates how wildly out of control crime is in Wayne County.”
Michigan mandates life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. However, Starks, who is charged as an adult, could receive a sentence with parole as a possibility if convicted because he is younger than 18. The U.S. Supreme Court has required that judges be allowed to permit parole when a convict is younger than 18.
The Brewster Homes are two- and three-bedroom attached townhouses. Jakari and his mother lived in a corner unit, and he often was out in the yards and parking lot playing baseball with friends, neighbours said. The boy was to enter the fourth grade at Spain Elementary this year.