One of the three youths charged with fatally shooting a Kendrick High School senior on his 18th birthday last year was denied a bond low enough to gain his release from jail Thursday.
The defense attorney for Javon Quindarius McClendon said he can’t afford his $150,000 bond because he is “destitute.”
“Destitute or not, he took my child,” the mother of victim Javion Shorter told the court.
McClendon, 18, is charged in Shorter’s 2:30 a.m. assault on Nov. 17, 2017, at Ballard Way Apartments, 5600 Hunter Road, where he was shot in the left arm and abdomen. He died two days later in the hospital.
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Police said he’d just had an argument with his girlfriend Nashira Miller, who’s also charged in the homicide. A woman living in the complex told investigators that before the shooting, Miller knocked on her door to borrow a cellphone.
The evidence later showed Miller used the phone to call Daijon Williams, her ex-boyfriend and the mother of her child, police said. Williams is the third suspect in Shorter’s shooting.
Investigators said Miller and Shorter had argued, and Miller was calling for a ride.
The witness who let Miller use her phone said she saw a young man later identified as Shorter standing outside in the stairwell as Miller left her apartment.
The resident told police she later heard two gunshots. A second witness also heard the shots, and saw a red Dodge Ram pickup speeding away.
Miller was still at the apartments when police got there, but wouldn’t talk to detectives. The phone she had borrowed showed officers whom she’d called.
On Dec. 1, authorities raided Williams’ residence at Eagles Trace Apartments, 2001 Torch Hill Road, where they found the three suspects inside, along with a .38-caliber revolver they believe was used in the shooting. They also found 10 Ecstasy pills worth about $250, and charged Williams with drug possession.
When they questioned Williams, he told them he had driven a red 2014 Red Dodge Ram.
A damaged vehicle fitting that description was reported stolen on Nov. 15 and recovered at Eagles Trace on Nov. 25, 2017. The following Dec. 6, police charged McClendon with stealing the truck.
McClendon told investigators he loaned the pickup to Williams and a second man two days before the shooting, and he alleged those two went to Ballard Way, where Williams shot Shorter, police said.
Williams told officers he did got to the apartments, but McClendon was the one who shot Shorter, detectives said. So police charged all three with murder.
“The case is close to being indicted,” Assistant District Attorney Veronica Hansis told Judge Ben Land during Thursday’s hearing: Authorities are waiting on a ballistics test of the gun found at Williams’ home, and they hope to identify everyone who was in the red pickup, she said.
Shorter’s parents, Tangi and Reginald Shorter, both addressed the court in opposition to dropping McClendon’s bond.
The mother said she was frustrated by repeated reports of gun violence in the city. “There’s been too many murders in Columbus, and I’m sick and tired of it,” she said.
The father emphasized that his son was unarmed when he was gunned down.
“One of them killed my son, and my son didn’t have no weapon,” he said.
Nancy Miller said the number of murders in Columbus was not relevant to whether Land lowered McClendon’s bond.
Hansis told Land a murder suspect in an unindicted case is entitled to a “reasonable bond,” under the law, and in light of Shorter’s slaying, the $150,000 bond Land set for McClendon last May is “reasonable.”
Land agreed, saying he’d heard nothing Thursday to change his mind about it, but he would keep up with the case, and consider lowering the bond later if it’s not indicted.
Of the other suspects, Nashira Miller, 20, also is being held on $150,000 bond. Her attorney, Stacey Jackson, tried to get her bond lowered in a hearing Friday, and Judge Land denied that motion as well.
Williams, 20, already was on probation for an earlier offense when he was arrested. Though his murder charge still is pending, his bond was revoked, and he’s now serving time in prison, according to court records.