Douglas County prosecutors want a 12-year-old boy involved in a robbery and killing at Miller Park sent to an out-of-state group home in the hope that he will sever his ties to an Omaha street gang.
Prosecutor Jim Masteller said Thursday that authorities are looking into group homes for Jarrell Milton in Nebraska, Iowa and Arizona. They hope the boy is accepted into a home outside Nebraska so he is away from his fellow gang members in Omaha. “The best one would be the farthest away,” Masteller said. He said a decision is likely over the next few weeks.
In a hearing in juvenile court Thursday, Milton admitted his involvement in the June 29 death of Jamymell Ray, 31.
Jarrell Milton initially was charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder in the case. Prosecutors on Thursday said they had agreed to instead charge the boy with criminal conspiracy and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
As part of the deal, Milton, who turns 13 in January, will be sent to a group home and placed on probation.
“He’s 12 years old,” said Matt Kahler, the boy’s attorney. “The benefit ... is that he can successfully put this behind him.”
Authorities say that Milton, his brother Jamar Milton, 17, and 15-year-old Shuntayvious Primes-Willis intended to rob and shoot two men from whom they had arranged to buy marijuana. Charles Fisher, 30, who was driving the car Ray was in, was wounded.
Jamar Milton and Primes-Willis have been charged as adults with first-degree murder. Jamar’s attorney unsuccessfully requested that his case be moved to juvenile court; Primes-Willis has made the same request, but it’s still pending.
Jarrell Milton’s case was handled in juvenile court because of his age. His court records could be sealed after he reaches adulthood.
Prosecutors have said Jarrell Milton was carrying a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine during the June 29 incident. Police detectives did not recover any bullet casings from that weapon, officials have said.
Authorities allege Primes-Willis shot Fisher with a 9 mm handgun and Jamar Milton shot Ray with a .22-caliber handgun.
According to detective interviews with Fisher, Ray and Fisher planned to sell marijuana to Jamar Milton at Miller Park.
The three youths had a different plan, police have said. They set up a drug deal, but planned to shoot the men and steal their marijuana.
All three boys, including the youngest, are Nike gang members, authorities have said. Law enforcement officials have been investigating the gang in connection with numerous bank and commercial robberies, as well as homicides, shootings and drug trafficking, according to federal court documents.
Javaris Milton, the father of Jarrell and Jamar Milton, said the boys were exposed to gang life as they grew up. Javaris Milton spoke to The World-Herald after the boys were arrested. He is in a Minnesota prison serving a life sentence for a 2010 homicide committed in Minneapolis.
Javaris Milton, who could not be reached Thursday, has acknowledged that he hasn’t set the best example for his children. He was a gang member and didn’t hide his guns, dope or criminal activities from his boys, he said.
Masteller, the prosecutor, said the strong gang connections were among the reasons he didn’t want Jarrell to serve his probation at his mother’s house in Omaha.
Jarrell Milton, whose mother sat next to him at Thursday’s hearing, smiled at relatives who were present as deputies escorted him out of the courtroom.
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