Murdered teen tried to avoid fight; 16-year-old will stand trial as an adult in deadly shooting
BATON ROUGE - A 16-year-old will be tried as an adult in the murder of another teen who was shot while walking home from school, a judge decided Thursday.
Jeffrey Tate is among three arrested in the killing of Javon Brown, including his 18-year-old brother, Davaughn Tate.
Prosecutors in court Thursday said the Tate brothers, along with 16-year-old Kevin Anderson, harassed Brown after he got off a school bus with a girl on Ottawa Street Monday afternoon. Prosecutors said Brown put on headphones to try and drown out the aggressors, but he was attacked from behind and a fight ensued.
Davaughn Tate allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Brown before the three attackers fled the area. Anderson was also hit by gunfire in the struggle and showed up at a hospital where he was treated before being taken into custody. Brown died in the hospital the next day.
James Manasseh is representing Jeffrey Tate.
"I respect the judge's opinion, and I respect his decision," Manasseh said. "But the police officer testified that my client didn't have a gun. He didn't shoot anybody. There's no indication they talked about this or knew any of this was going to happen. I believe he's innocent...not guilty."
The Tate brothers remained on the run for about two days before being finally apprehended Wednesday. Initially, Davaughn Tate was the only one of the three charged with second-degree murder, with the other two booked for principal to second-degree murder.
On Thursday, with witness accounts and surveillance video corroborating details of the encounter, a juvenile court judge found sufficient probable cause to try Jeffrey Tate for second-degree murder. The younger brother was said to be the instigator in the confrontation and will now stand trial as an adult.
Investigators with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said Belaire High School confirmed the the Tate brothers and Brown had an ongoing feud leading up to the shooting. Court records additionally revealed the Tate brothers have the same father as local rapper NBA YoungBoy, who's been in and out of jail over the past year.
Manasseh said he will appeal the judge's ruling within 15 days to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
"He's upset as you can imagine," Manasseh said. "He didn't plan for this thing to happen, he didn't know it was going to happen and he's scared to death. I'm going to do everything I can to protect him. People aren't disposable and they deserve a defense, and I'm going to fight my tail off to try to help this young boy because I believe he's not guilty."
Kevin Anderson was the first to appear in court Wednesday, but his hearing was pushed to Friday so his family could have time to find an attorney. His hearing was pushed again to Jan. 6 at the request of Anderson's attorneys. He'll remain jailed without bond until that hearing.