BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The five juveniles accused of participating in a fatal Biloxi shooting had their initial appearances Wednesday.
A $1 million bond was originally set for all of the suspects except Jarvis Cook, but bond was ultimately denied to all of the suspects after initial appearance. Cook was already out on bond for an aggravated assault he is accused of committing last year in Gulfport.
The suspects face charges in connection to the capital murder of 16-year-old Madison Harris in the 2000 block of Rustwood Drive. Court records indicate the suspects attempted to rob Harris of marijuana.
According to court documents, Biloxi police officers, firefighters and American Medical Response responded to the house to find Harris suffering from a single gunshot wound to her right hip area. She was taken to Merit Health Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
A witness who was in the residence at the time of the incident told police that two male suspects came to the rear bedroom window - where he, Harris and Kelley were located - and instructed the witness to open the window, threatening him at gunpoint. The witness said he recognized this suspect as “Teflon," who was later identified as Jaquez Porter.
The witness said he was unable to fully open the window due to it being broken. At this time, Yakeshia and Willow entered the residence and subsequently the bedroom, where Porter handed Yakeshia the gun through the window, according to court documents.
The witness said he then grabbed Yakeshia in an attempt to disarm her, causing a physical altercation. During the altercation, the witness said Yakeshia discharged the firearm, hitting Harris. Yakeshia then fled the residence with Willow on foot, according to court documents.
Video captured by a Ring doorbell at the residence shows two male suspects also entering the house at the time of the shooting and later all five suspects fleeing the scene.
When the suspects were arrested, they were read their rights, and all waived their rights to remain silent and agreed to provide statements without an attorney present. The suspects provided information that they had planned on robbing Harris for marijuana. Yakeshia admitted to receiving the gun from Porter through the window while inside the house. Porter admitted to provided Yakeshia with the gun. Willow and Cook both admitted to going to the residence to “rob” Harris. Kelley admitted to going to the residence to relay information to the other suspects to assist in the robbery.
If found guilty, the suspects could face up to life in prison, as due to their ages, the death penalty is not applicable in their cases.
The Biloxi Public School District released the following statement in regard to recent events:
We are deeply saddened by the events that took place in our community this past Monday. The Biloxi Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation and we would defer any questions to them at this time.
As always, student safety and well-being remain our top priority. We will have counselors available for any students that may have concerns or just need to talk.
We will continue to keep everyone affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.