Charges filed Thursday say it was De’Eris Brown, 21, who fired shots into a home here last week that killed 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden. But neither court documents nor officials provided any suggestion of a motive.
Jamyla was doing homework on her mother’s bed when she was killed by shots fired into a bedroom window and wall from outside; her mother was wounded in the leg.
Late Thursday afternoon, a man outside the bullet-pocked house in the 9200 block of Ellison Drive, who identified himself as Jamyla’s grandfather, declined to say whether Brown was known to the family. He said the relatives might say more Friday.
Police said Brown was not related to the victims but would not say whether he had some connection to them, citing the ongoing investigation.
Jamyla and her mother, Kendric Henderson, 34, were not the intended targets, according to a source.
In court documents, Ferguson police Detective William Ballard said a witness identified Brown as the shooter, and an informer came forward to say Brown admitted shooting into the home the night of Aug. 18.
Brown, of the 9200 block of O’Fallon Lake Drive in O’Fallon, Mo., was named on one count of second-degree murder, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of armed criminal action. He was held in lieu of $750,000 cash-only bail.
U.S. marshals and St. Louis County police arrested Brown Wednesday night at a St. Louis area hospital, officials said. He was visiting a patient there, according to a source.
Brown is on probation after pleading guilty in March to two counts of second-degree robbery for a crime last year in St. Peters. A statement by St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar says Brown admitted that he and an accomplice had robbed someone. Brown was sentenced to five years of probation with the threat of 10 years in prison if he violated conditions.
He also had been charged with misdemeanor assault and unlawful use of a weapon for allegedly threatening an ex-girlfriend with a gun at her job at a Subway restaurant in St. Charles in 2014. That case was dropped “due to a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim,” Lohmar’s statement says.
Ferguson Police Capt. Dan DeCarli met with the victim’s family Thursday to tell them of the arrest.
He said detectives had logged 300 person-hours of investigation. “It was good old-fashioned police work,” he said. “You get out and talk to the community and follow up.”
DeCarli also serves as Major Case Squad commander.
Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch | Christine Byers