Bond set for man accused in shooting death of 15-year-old
PEORIA (25 News Now) - Bond has been set for a man facing murder charges in the shooting death of 15-year-old Merian Smith earlier this month.
Erick D. Jackson, 18, was given a $1.5 million bond at his hearing Wednesday. He is charged with Smith’s death as well as aggravated battery against Tanarius Kincade, also injured in the Nov. 7 shooting. however, evidence from the scene suggests there may be two people responsible for the shooting.
Shell casings collected from the scene near Quest Charter in Central Peoria came from two separate weapons.
Prosecutors initially requested a $2 million dollar bond. Police affidavits read into the record report home security video from surrounding houses showed three men lingering at a garage near the scene. During the course of the video, one of the men touched the garage wall. Police collected a fingerprint sample from that garage, matching Jackson’s prints.
From there, they searched Jackson’s home, finding a firearm that matched the shell casings found at the shooting scene. Jackson was detained and questioned by police. He admitted to being present with the other two men but said he did not shoot Smith or Kincade.
Prosecutors did not mention if ballistics tests were performed to match the bullets to Jackson’s gun. The public defender appointed to Jackson argued there was not enough evidence to prove the weapon found in his residence fired the fatal shots causing Smith’s head wound, and Kincade’s injury.
Smith was weeks away from turning 16. Family members are remembering him as a peacemaker and a family young man.
Judge Albert Purham set the bond at $1.5 million, taking into account Jackson’s lack of criminal history and young age. Jackson’s next court appearance is December 15, at 9 a.m.
His Class M First Degree Murder charge carries a possible sentence of 2o to 60 years, along with 25 years if prosecutors prove Jackson fired the fatal shot. His Class X aggravated battery charge carries a sentence ranging from 6 to 30 years.
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