Alleged gang member, 17, held without bond in killing of 7-year-old Pontiac girl

A 17-year-old accused of driving the SUV police say was used in the driveby fatal shooting of a seven-year-old Pontiac girl on March 18 was denied bond Tuesday.

JaJuan Calvin McDonald, who police had offered a $10,000 reward for, was arraigned Tuesday before Pontiac District Court Judge Michael Martinez.

He is the third young suspect charged in the shooting of 7-year-old Ariah Jackson which has sparked outrage in metro Detroit. All three are members of the violent "4-Block" gang, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. 

McDonald was charged with first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to murder and four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

JaJuan Calvin McDonald, 17, who police had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, was arraigned Tuesday before Pontiac District Court Judge Michael Martinez. Martinez ordered him held without bond.

McDonald, who wore an orange jail uniform as he appeared via video, stood mute during the brief court hearing which was held via Zoom. . His attorney Neil Rockind asked that the formal reading of the charges be waived and Martinez agreed.

Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Nick McIntyre asked Martinez not to send McDonald to a juvenile facility and detain him in the Oakland County Jail, saying the jail "would be appropriate for this defendant."

McIntyre alleged McDonald "targeted" other youngsters in the shooting. Ariah, who was shot in the head, was in the car with her mother, who was grazed by a bullet, and three other children, ages 6, 7 and 11, who were not injured. Ariah's mother had just pulled the vehicle into the driveway outside their home near Paddock and Wilson after picking the children up from school.

Rockind argued for the teen to be sent to a juvenile facility while he awaits his next court date, saying "From what I know Mr. McDonald is a driver" in the crime.

On Monday, McDonald walked into the Waterford Township Police Department with his attorney shortly after 2 p.m. then was turned over to the Sheriff’s Fugitive Apprehension Team, authorities said in a statement. 

A passenger dressed in black hung out the window of a late model orange Chevrolet Blazer and fired eight shots at the family's vehicle, Ariah's mother told investigators. She also told police she noticed the SUV earlier at a nearby bus stop.

Ariah, who was in the back seat of the car, was hit once in the back of the head. Deputies took the girl to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

There is no known connection between Rouser and Ariah or her family, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The alleged gunman, Justin Jayshon Rouser, was arrested Wednesday in Taylor by sheriff’s detectives and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after authorities executed multiple search warrants across Metro Detroit and stopped a vehicle in which Rouser was a passenger.

Justin Rouser faces charges including first-degree murder and assault with intent to commit murder, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said. He is accused of fatally shooting Ariah Jackson, 7, in a driveby shooting in Pontiac.

Rouser is charged with first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to commit murder and five counts of possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony, the sheriff’s office said.

Martinez on Friday ordered the 19-year-old held without bond in the Oakland County Jail.

Rouser faces mandatory life in prison without parole if convicted on the first-degree murder charge.

A third suspected gang member, Daejion Markese Bryant, 21, the alleged driver of the vehicle Rouser was in when arrested Wednesday, also has been arrested.

The Troy resident was questioned earlier in the investigation, the Sheriff's Office said. He was charged with lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation, a four-year felony.

Daejion Bryant is accused of lying to police during a violent crime investigation.

Bryant was arraigned Friday. His bond was set at $100,000 and he is being held in the county jail.

McDonald's next court date is April 7 at 1:30 p.m. before 50th District Court Judge Cynthia Walker.

Staff Writers Mark Hicks and Charles E. Ramirez contributed.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com