By Eric D. Lawrence
The woman, who testified today in court, was heading back to her Ford Taurus from the store to grab money when she saw the carjacking — a man on the passenger side, ordering her cousin to get out, and another man meeting her on the sidewalk with a gun pointed at her face. She ran back inside and said, “Please save my son,” who was also in the car.
“When I shouted for my son, he immediately ran out,” said the woman, describing the night 24-year-old Courtney Meeks was gunned down as he tried to stop the carjacking in the pharmacy parking lot on the city’s west side. Meeks died in a hail of gunfire as the carjackers drove off.
After listening to numerous witnesses today, Judge Joseph Baltimore of 36th District Court ordered the case against the trio charged in connection with Meeks’ death — Jeremy Jackson, 23, Jamare Rucker, 20, and Ronnie Anderson-Williams, 25 — bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court, where an arraignment is scheduled for April 8. All three are charged with carjacking and armed robbery, and Jackson and Rucker also face first-degree murder charges.
Authorities say the three were involved in a failed carjacking before Meeks’ killing the night of Feb. 26.
During the hearing, sections of police interviews were read or replayed on a video screen. At one point, Detroit Police Officer Derrick Maye read from Jackson’s statement. Jackson described walking into the CVS parking lot with Rucker and spotting the Taurus. He said he did not see the child in the car, pointed a gun at the female passenger and opened the door. She and the child got out, and then Jackson got in the passenger seat and Rucker got in the driver’s seat.
Jackson said in the statement that the security guard got his gun out, and then, “Jamare shot first, and then I shot after that.”
When asked why he committed the crime, Jackson replied, “Because I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have any money, and I had to take care of my son.”
Rucker, in his recorded statement, said he did not know Jackson was going to “jack that car.”
“We both shot. I just remember shooting. I don’t remember how many times. … I didn’t kill that man,” Rucker said, indicating that he would have shot Meeks in the arm if he had intended to hit him.
Before the judge ordered the case bound over, Rucker’s attorney, Lillian Diallo, argued that the felony murder should at least be lowered to a second-degree murder charge because “there was no thought process” and no intent to kill. She called the felony murder charge a “pile-on and an add-on.”
But Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Muscat noted that Rucker said they fired multiple shots.
“They reacted, yes, but they went into that situation planned, prepared, and they executed to make sure they escaped,” Muscat said.
The judge apparently agreed.
“The trier of fact could conclude that if you bring that weapon to a location, you intend to use it,” Baltimore said.
Contact Eric D. Lawrence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source : Detroit Free Press