Recent tragic news reports revealed that a 13-year-old boy from Charlotte, NC was shot to death on a west Charlotte street earlier this week. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they have arrested the 16-year-old they believe is responsible for the killing.
Even more tragically, this is the fourth such shooting death of a teen in Charlotte this year, three in the past five weeks alone. Two teens were shot to death last month, though no arrests have been announced in those cases. Hawa Gabiddon, 17, was found shot to death in July in a north Charlotte park. Authorities later said she was pregnant. A week later, 18-year-old Kevin Washington was shot and killed after a party in northeast Charlotte.
In the most recent incident, the shooter, Damien Wright, has yet to reveal what led to the shooting. Despite that, police say they have reason to believe the shooting was not random. Wright is a rising freshman at West Charlotte High and will now face life-changing criminal charges as a result of the shooting.
Police say that a young man waived down a passing driver around 1 a.m. at the corner of Tuckaseegee Road and Parkway Avenue, saying that someone had been shot. The driven then called the police who found a victim on the ground. The victim was taken by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center but it was too late and he died in the process.
Despite being so young, Wright has already been arrested three times. Wright was first arrested in January on misdemeanor drug charges. In April, the boy was charged with misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a minor and only one day later he was again arrested for possession of a firearm with the serial number removed.
North Carolina, along with New York, is one of two states that will automatically prosecute all 16 and 17-year-olds in the adult court system, without regard to the type of crime the teen is charged with. There is currently a bill before the North Carolina legislature seeking to change the law so no one under 18 could be prosecuted as an adult for nonviolent misdemeanors.
Though this case involves the commission of a violent crime, 80 percent of 16 and 17 year-olds who find themselves in trouble with the law are involved in minor, misdemeanor level offenses. Such minor offenses can leave permanent marks on these young peoples’ criminal records. When they go on to apply to higher education or employment, or even housing, that mark on their record could bar them from those opportunities.
The North Carolina criminal defense lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC will provide you with the best possible counsel. For a free consultation, contact us today at (704) 370-2828.
“13-year-old shot dead in Charlotte; Teen arrested,” by Steve Lyttle, published at HeraldOnline.com.
See Our Related Blog Posts
Charlotte Man Arrested for Presbyterian Hospital Attacks