A lawyer for the 16-year-old suspect in campus shooting died by a colleague Butler High School student said Tuesday that…
A lawyer for the 16-year-old suspect in campus shooting died by a colleague Butler High School student said Tuesday that Jatwan Cuffie had been the target of threat and bullying.
“There is already there where was threatening him and there was a question of bullying,” Assistant Mecklenburg County Public Defender Joe Adelman said minutes after Cuffie had made his first appearance in court .
Cuffie, a Butler High freshman, is charged with first-degree murder in Monday’s shooting by Bobby McKeithen, who occurred in a narrow hall at the 2100 school school just before the classes began.
McKeithen, also 1
6, was a sophomore.
Cuffie is sentenced to death in prison without parole.
Matthew’s police said Tuesday that the gun used during the killing was stolen in August in Gaston County. The department also said that it was investigating whether an earlier off-campus match was attached to the shot.
Police’s autopsy findings revealed that McKeithen had shot once in torso, WBTV reported.
Several students told Observer that the shot occurred during a short corridor battle between Cuffie and McKeithen. After being injured, McKeithen was treated at the scene but died at a nearby hospital.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Monday that the incident “began with bullying escalating from control and fearing a young man brought a weapon to solve the problem.” Wilcox would not elaborate.
Jourdan Perry, a Butler sophomore who said she was a close friend of McKeithen described the victim as “caring and loving.” If any mob, Cuffie, she said, it was not McKeithen.
“I felt like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it was not meant to happen to him,” she said.
With his family on Tuesday 5-foot-8, 120-pound Cuffie, the first feed was led into the first floor of the Mecklenburg courtroom just before 2 pm to be shown before District Court David Strickland. He carried a green inmate jumpsuit and did not speak during his four minutes hearing.
Adelman told the judge that his teens “is not a danger to society” and should be judged to a $ 10,000 band. The lawyer said that Cuffie had no previous criminal record and that the shot was an isolated event.
Adelman asked Strickland to equip Cuffie with an electronic surveillance device and then turn to the guardian’s mother who looked at other family members from the left side of the courtroom.
Strickland refused. Cuffie will be held in the Mecklenburg Prison without binding pending a November 7 hearing.
Cuffie did not answer when the judge asked if he had any questions. Instead, Adelman hung up with the youth and spoke in Cuffie’s ear as he clasped Cuffie’s left shoulder. The lawyer later refused to say what the two shared.
Escorted by deputies, Cuffie left the family courtroom without comment. Asked how they handle Cuffie’s arrest, Adelman said, “He is their son. He is their baby. He is 16 years old and it is difficult for them as it would be for any parent.”
When Cuffie’s case began, Its slow crawl through the criminal justice system, Butler High fought in Matthews to feel the tragedy, seen by dozens of students on their way to their first class.
Anna O & # 39; Connell, a 11th grade, said that Cuffie and McKeithen were single-minded.
“They really did not have personal problems with each other,” she said. “I just think they just fell away like friends.”
Butler’s successor Aaliya Griffin said she became friends with Cuffie last year and shared a second block with him this semester. She says that Cuffie worked with her school and did not have any problems with the behavior of the class. She said similar things about McKeithen.
“That’s why I’m confused about why this happened because none of them were ever in anything. You’d never hear their name in anything.”
Adelman, the Prison Controller of the Mecklenburg Public Prosecutor’s Office, said after the hearing that Cuffie deserved a band. Adelman asked to describe his client and used three adjectives.
Shy. Silent. Afraid.
Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095; @MikeGordonOBS