BILOXI, Miss. — Five teens accused of gunning down a 16-year-old girl during a botched marijuana robbery were caught on a doorbell camera arriving at and leaving the girl’s home, police and the victim’s family said.
The teens have been charged with capital murder in the death of Madison Harris, 16, of Biloxi. According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, the suspects have been identified as Yakeshia Blackmon, 17; Willow Blackmon, 15; Jarvis Jermaine Cook, 17; Jasmine Joy-Sade Kelley, 15; and Jaquez Devonte Porter, 17.
The remaining four suspects were initially being held in lieu of $1 million bond. A judge on Wednesday revoked their bail at the request of Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Herman Cox, the newspaper said.
Biloxi police officers responded just before 2 p.m. Monday to a home on Rustwood Drive, where a caller told a 911 dispatcher a teen girl was having a “medical episode,” according to the Sun Herald. First responders found Harris, who had been shot in the hip area.
Harris was taken to Merit Health Hospital, where authorities said she died during surgery.
The caller, identified as Paultavius White, told detectives he was visiting Harris when the Blackmon sisters arrived with two teen boys and tried to rob Harris. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Sun Herald, White said he, Harris and Kelley were in a back bedroom when the two boys came to a window and pointed a gun at Harris, demanded she open it.
White told investigators he recognized the boy with the gun as a teen nicknamed “Teflon,” the affidavit said. “Teflon” was later identified as Porter.
The window was broken and would not open all the way, White told police. The Blackmon sisters entered the house, and then the bedroom, and Porter handed the gun to Yakeshia Blackmon, White said.
White told detectives he grabbed Yakeshia Blackmon to take the gun from her and that it fired during the struggle. The bullet struck Harris in the hip.
The affidavit said a Ring doorbell camera on the home caught footage of the Blackmon sisters, Cook and Porter entering the house. The footage showed them running out in separate directions after the shooting, with White chasing after them, the Sun Herald reported.
James Waldeck, the fiancé of Harris’ grandmother, described the footage for WLOX in Biloxi.
Waldeck told the news station Harris was at the home with White, who was a good friend of hers, while her father was in the backyard, raking leaves. She and her father, Stuart Harris, had lived there with her grandmother, Susan Richards, and Waldeck for about four years, following her parents’ divorce.
“One girl came in, I saw on the Ring doorbell, about a half hour before,” Waldeck said. “And then, according to my Ring doorbell, four of them charged in an unlocked door here at the carport. And within a matter of 10 seconds, the shooting and screaming, and then them running out the door being chased by Paul, her friend, and then her dad.”
White told authorities he believed Kelley, the youngest of the group, had set Harris up to be robbed by the sisters, the affidavit said.
Detectives wrote that surveillance footage and neighbors indicated a red sedan with front-end damage had fled the scene just after the shooting, the newspaper said. Officers canvassing the neighborhood found a red Toyota Camry matching that description about 3 miles from the home, with Cook and another person inside.
That person has not been charged in the case.
The Blackmon sisters were arrested at their home across the street from the house where Harris was killed, the newspaper reported. A crew with WLOX was there covering the shooting when the girls were handcuffed and taken away.
Detectives wrote in the affidavit that all five teens admitted to participating in the botched robbery, the Sun Herald reported. Their stories appeared to match what White told police.
Waldeck told the news station Harris was friends with some of the teens accused of killing her.
“They were in our house -- I thought as friends -- a number of different times, yes,” Waldeck said. “They just lived two or three houses down and across the street.”
Waldeck said the friendly relationship changed after he and the other residents of his home suspected the teens broke in about two weeks before the shooting.
“Of course, the police were called and we were pressing charges against that first crime, and we’re afraid this may have been retaliation against us reporting their crime,” Waldeck told WLOX.
His interview with the news station may explain why the window didn’t open all the way when the teens were trying to get in to rob Harris.
“We screwed the window shut so they couldn’t get in there,” Waldeck said. “We put deadbolts on the doors so that they had to be locked with a key to get in or out, but the carport door was unlocked and that’s where they made their way in.”
Due to their ages, none of the teens are eligible for the death penalty if convicted of capital murder, the Sun Herald said. They would instead serve sentences of life in prison without parole.
Waldeck said he believes the teens meant to kill Harris, who he described as “a beautiful young lady, completely innocent of all these things that have happened to her.”
“She loved her music and she loved her friends,” Waldeck said. “She had a big laugh and always enjoyed herself, wherever she was.”
Harris’ cousin, Peyton Harris, described the slain girl as being like an older sister.
“She was always there for me and my cousins,” the teen said. “You know, she did nothing to deserve this, and I don’t know why this happened to her.”
Waldeck said Harris loved her family, which included two brothers, a half sister and two stepbrothers.
“She was a sweet girl who didn’t hurt anyone,” Waldeck told the news station.
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