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De'Sha Taylor's case was delayed, but a judge said he will stay in custody out of public safety concerns.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
A Roanoke teen charged in the shooting and wounding of both a 13-year-old girl and a 49-year-old man will remain in custody, despite delays in his court proceedings.
De’Sha S. Taylor, 17, was scheduled for a hearing Thursday morning in Roanoke Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, but prosecutors asked for a continuance because of the unavailability of a witness. Taylor’s defense attorney had also previously requested a continuance as well.
Authorities typically do not release the identities of juveniles who have been charged with crimes. The Roanoke Times obtained Taylor’s name when he was cited as the suspect in the two shootings in a warrant filed in May in Roanoke Circuit Court.
Search warrants also identified one of the victims, shot April 9 in the 400 block of Harrison Avenue Northwest, as Marcus Robinson, 49. The 13-year-old, who was shot in the stomach May 4 in the 600 block of 36th Street Northwest, has not been named.
Police have said Taylor had a relationship with both shooting victims. He’s charged with aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding, both with a firearm, according to prosecutors.
At Thursday’s hearing, defense attorney Hyatt Shirkey asked Judge Joseph Clarke to allow Taylor to return to his home.
“Given he’s been in detention since the beginning of May ... I believe his mother would like him home,” Shirkey told Clarke.
But Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alice Ekirch objected to Taylor’s release and argued at the hearing that one of the victims in the case — Robinson — was Taylor’s mother’s boyfriend and that he’d been shot while involved in a disagreement with her.
Ekirch told Clarke it was unclear whether Robinson lives in the home that Taylor would be returning to, but said a bullet from the shooting still remains lodged in Robinson’s groin.
She said Taylor admitted to police he’d attacked Robinson that night and also told them he’d struck his mother with a gun. Taylor, during an interview with police, acknowledged to investigators that he’s a gang member and that while he was on the run after Robinson’s shooting he’d cut from his wrist a court-ordered tracking device, Ekirch said.
Ekirch also argued that the seriousness of the crimes was heightened by the fact that more than one weapon was used — Robinson was shot with a .40-caliber handgun and the teenage girl with a .22, warrants have shown.
Clarke said that although he recognized that the delay in the hearing had been prompted by prosecutors, he felt that in the interest of public safety Taylor should stay in juvenile detention.
“I’m not releasing him at this point,” Clarke said.
Taylor’s next court date is Aug. 8.
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