Ruling delayed in 11-year-old’s fatal shooting of child

Oralandar Brand-Williams

The attorney for the 11-year-old boy who has been charged with shooting a 3-year-old boy to death asked for the charges against her young client to be dismissed saying the child is not competent to stand trial.

“(Psychologists) found my client to be incompetent,” defense attorney Lynda McGhee of the Michigan Children’s Law Center said during a brief hearing Wednesday.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Frank Szymanski granted Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Hervey Jenkins’ request to set another date for the hearing to give him more time to review the child’s competency evaluations.

The next hearing will be Nov. 11 for both sides to discuss what evidence will be presented against the youngster. The competency exam has been rescheduled to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 18.

The youngster, who is slight in stature, attended the hearing with his parents.

McGhee said after the hearing the youngster doesn’t understand the “gravity” of the shooting.

“Both psychologists reported (the youngster) really could not understand the court process (and) if he doesn’t understand he can’t help me defend him.”

The alleged young shooter, who is not being named because of his age, is accused of shooting 3-year-old Elijah Walker to death in August. According to Detroit police, the boys were playing while both were visiting the home of the older boy in the 16000 block of Eastwood when the 3-year-old was fatally shot.

The 11-year-old has been charged with manslaughter, death by weapon aimed with intent but without malice, and felony firearm. He allegedly found the gun inside his father’s home.

The boy’s father, Curry Bryson, has been charged in connection with the incident. He is facing trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and weapons altering ID marks.

There has been some confusion if the two youngsters are related.

According to police, the shooting occurred around 1:40 p.m. Aug. 3 in a car parked in the backyard of the father’s home. According to an officer on the scene, the 11-year-old said he and the younger boy were playing in the car when the gun went off and Elijah was shot in the face.

Police also are investigating reports the 11-year-old pulled a gun on another neighbor in the same week as the fatal shooting.

The incident and the subsequent criminal charges highlight the debate on whether young children accused of violence are aware of the consequences of their criminal actions.

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Detroit News Staff Writer George Hunter contributed.