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Boy, 13, charged in fatal shooting of teen

Holly Fournier, and Oralandar Brand-Williams

A 13-year-old boy was arraigned Wednesday in the death of a 14-year-old boy he allegedly shot in a shed behind a vacant home, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Frederick Austin, 14, died around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday on the 5300 block of Radnor in Detroit, said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.

“It is alleged that a 13-year-old Detroit juvenile was with Frederick Austin ... and three other Detroit youths,” Miller said in a statement on the charges. “The victim had a handgun and it is alleged that the 13-year-old picked up the gun, discharging it, killing Austin.”

Austin was pronounced dead at the scene near Interstate 94 and Cadieux on the city’s east side, police said.

The unnamed 13-year-old is charged with involuntary manslaughter, careless discharge causing death and felony firearm, Miller said.

The boy appeared in juvenile court Wednesday dressed in a blue sweatshirt, saggy pants and gym shoes. In a brief hearing before Referee Nicholas Bobak, he received a $50,000, 10 percent bond, despite a request by his defense attorney to be allowed to go home.

Bobak said given “very serious allegations” against the teen, his family would need to post at least $5,000 cash to bring him home while he awaits his pre-trial hearing scheduled for June 22.

The teen on Wednesday waived the formal reading of the charges against him as well as his probable cause conference. These are his first alleged offenses in the Wayne County juvenile system.

When Bobak asked his mother in court if the child listened to her instructions at home, she replied, “He’s hardheaded.”

The mother left the brief hearing Wednesday without making any comments about what happened.

If released, the teen must have no contact with witnesses or the victim’s family. He also is to follow a curfew.

The teen tested positive for marijuana after his arrest, according to the court. Bobak admonished the boy to “stay away from marijuana” if released from detention.

If convicted of the charges against him, the teen will be sentenced under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

Police late Tuesday questioned and detained the teen, who is a seventh-grader and football player at Marquette Middle School.

It was not immediately clear who owns the gun used in the shooting, according to Detroit Police Officer Dan Donakowski.

The youths may have been involved in an earlier dispute, Police Chief James Craig told Fox 2 Detroit. Authorities also were probing the possibility that they were playing, Donakowski said.

The incident is the latest round of violence involving children in Detroit.

Since Easter, at least eight youths ages 15 and under have been injured or killed by gunfire, sparking outcry from police and residents.

Last week, the body of Deontae Mitchell, 13, was found in an east-side field, days after he’d been taken at gunpoint outside a store. An autopsy has been completed but the manner and cause of death remain pending.


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Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.