By Associated Press November 19, 2009 12:21 pm
UPDATE: Dad Charged In Son’s Execution
Neighbors Say Father Shot Son In Field
POSTED: Monday, November 16, 2009
UPDATED: 5:57 pm EST November 18, 2009
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — The family of slain 15-year-old Jamar Pinkney Jr. was overcome with emotions Wednesday as his father was led into court and arraigned on first-degree murder charges in his death.
Police said Jamar Pinkney Sr. forced his son, Jamar Pinkney Jr., to get naked and then he led him out of his mother’s Highland Park home Monday and shot him execution-style in the head in a nearby field.
Jamar Pinkney Sr. was charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without chance for parole. He was also charged with three counts of felonious assault and felony firearm.
Highland Park Judge Bridgette Officer arraigned the 37-year-old on the charges Wednesday afternoon in 30th District Court. Jamar Pinkney Sr. pleaded guilty at the arraignment.
“In the event that there’s evidence that he did do this…that’s something that either a jury or a judge would have to take a good, hard look at,” said the defendant’s attorney, Corbett Edge O’Meara.
A judge ordered the father held without bond and set a preliminary examination for Dec. 1.
A 37-year-old father irate over hearing his 15-year-old son had sexual contact with a three-year-old girl made the teen strip at gunpoint, marched him to a vacant lot and shot him to death despite pleas from the boy and his mother, a relative said.
Michigan authorities filed a first-degree murder charge Wednesday against Jamar Pinkney Sr. in the shooting death Monday of Jamar Pinkney Jr. in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park.
Defense attorney Corbett O’Meara said prosecutors should consider evidence of the father’s state of mind over the sex abuse report.
“If something were to happen that would cause a reasonable person to lose control of himself, that is something the prosecution would have to take into account,” O’Meara said outside Highland Park District Court.
Tensions were high in the courtroom Wednesday as the handcuffed suspect was led into the room for the arraignment, which lasted less than a minute. “No, No, No,” one female relative cried before a police officer escorted her out.
Judge Brigette Officer entered a not guilty plea for Pinkney, who’s also charged with assault, and ordered him jailed without bond until a preliminary examination Dec. 1.
“This is something that’s hard to deal with for all the parties concerned, including the police,” police Chief Ted Caldwell said afterward. “Highland Park is a small city. These are people who have been members of the community for years.”
Caldwell said the sexual misconduct allegation that led to the confrontation wasn’t part of the police investigation.
The shooting happened Monday night in a vacant lot in the once-prosperous city of 16,000, where decay, abandonment, fires and demolition have eaten away at many of the sprawling homes. Highland Park recently exited years of state financial oversight.
Visitors built an impromptu memorial at the shooting site. Two votive candles sat amid 10 stuffed animals, including two white teddy bears with red hearts embroidered with, “I love you.”
The boy’s mother, Lazette Cherry, told The Detroit Free Press that her son told her he had improper sexual contact with the girl.
“I called and told his father. This isn’t something you sweep under the rug,” she said.
Cherry said the elder Pinkney arrived at the home with a gun, ordered his son to strip and marched him outside despite her protests.
“He got on his knees and begged, ‘No, Daddy, No,’ and he pulled the trigger,” Cherry said.
Cherry did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday from The Associated Press seeking comment.