Charges upgraded against 14-year-old accused in fatal shooting of 19-year-old
The 14-year-old girl is now charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Mickell Gordon.
JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A 14-year-old girl is behind bars after being charged in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man.
The teenager, who has since been identified as Bridgette Leann Forehand, was initially charged with manslaughter but those charges were upgraded Thursday to second-degree murder.
During Forehand’s arraignment, the public defender told the judge that the 14-year-old’s grandfather was recently awarded custody of her and that the teenager has mental health issues. The lawyer told County Court Judge Mark Watts that they are trying to see a psychiatrist to get her on medication. Currently, she is not on any medication.
Judge Watts set bail at $100,000 and said he would consider lowering the bond if she sees a psychiatrist.
Few details have been released by authorities about what happened in the early morning hours of Wednesday, but a witness who was there has come forward to tell his side of the story.
The 19-year-old male, who does not wish to be identified publicly, sat down with WLOX on Wednesday afternoon to talk about what happened to his friend Mickell Gordon.
According to the witness, Mickell was staying the night at his house in Jackson County near the St. Andrews community. Text messages exchanged between the two earlier in the night show them talking about playing video games at the witness’ house. After doing that, they invited a 19-year-old female friend of Mikell’s over, said the witness.
She showed up with Bridgette Forehand, who the witness said told them she was 17. It wasn’t until after the shooting and her arrest that the witness said he found out she was actually 14.
“(Mickell and the 19-year-old female) were friends and we invited her over to hang out. I didn’t know either of the girls. (Mickell) just knew (the 19-year-old female)... He didn’t know (the suspect) either,” said the witness.
Video from the home of the witness shows the two girls arriving at the house in Jackson County near St. Andrews at 11:33 p.m.
Subsequent video taken from the home’s doorbell camera shows the four teenagers hanging out on his porch and in the front yard for a few minutes, before all four teens leave the home at 11:40 p.m.
According to the witness, they were just walking around the neighborhood because they couldn’t hang out inside his house since his family was sleeping so they stayed outside.. After walking to a nearby park and a store, the witness said they headed back to his house to get warmer clothing for the girls because they were cold.
It was around this time that things took a downward spiral.
“That’s when she pulled out the gun, and I was just trying to come up with an excuse to get them to leave. They knew somebody down the street so I told them we could walk to his house,” said the witness, adding that he wanted to get the weapon away from his family.
Then, while walking down the street, the suspect began behaving out of the norm and laid on the ground, he said.
“[The 19-year-old female] was trying to calm her down. That’s when (the suspect) got the gun from her backpack and started waving it around, pointing it at us... She said she stole it the day before but she didn’t tell us where she stole it from,” recounted the witness.
According to him, there was no confrontation prior to the shooting between Forehand and anyone else.
“No, none at all,” said the witness when asked if the suspect had a reason to be upset. “We were just trying to get them to go away nicely - or I was - and she was just going crazy. I don’t know why. She started waving (the gun) around. I turned around and started walking away, and I saw the gunshot out of the corner of my eye.”
“She didn’t even know him,” added the witness’ mother. “When she was arrested in the police car, she kept yelling, ‘Is Marcus okay?’ She didn’t even know his name.”
After the gun was fired, the witness said he realized that his friend had been shot in the forehead.
“We were kind of shocked and kind of sat there for a second, and then I pulled out my phone and she ran up to me and begged me not to call the cops. I said ‘okay, okay’ because she was still waving the gun around. Then I was like, ‘get away from me, get away from me’ and I took off running and went and checked on Kell and realized he was dead. That’s when I ran back towards my house and called (my mom) and went back to where Kell was, and we saw (the two girls) running down the street towards my house.”
As soon as she got the call from her son, the witness’ mom said she and her husband rushed a few doors down to the corner of Spruce and Center streets, where the shooting happened. Doorbell video shows the frantic parents running out of the house at 2:08 a.m.
The mother called 911 and she, her husband, and their son - the witness - waited for help to arrive. The first deputy arrived on scene at 2:11 a.m.
During that time, the mother said she realized that the two girls had ran off so she called her 15-year-old daughter, who was alone at the family’s home, and told her to hide in the bathroom and lock the door because the armed suspect was running towards their house.
The 15-year-old sister of the witness told WLOX she was locked in the bathroom when she heard Forehand and the 19-year-old female come in the house through the backdoor.
In the meantime, more law enforcement officers were responding to the shooting and can be heard on the police scanner calling backup to help search the area for the suspect.
At 2:28 a.m., a deputy can be heard telling dispatch that the suspect was in custody. According to the witness and his mother, the 14-year-old girl was arrested in their backyard.
Bridgette Forehand was initially charged with manslaughter but those charges were upgraded Thursday when she appeared in court. She is now charged with second degree murder. Her bond is set at $100,000.
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