ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Montgomery County prosecutor told a District Court judge Thursday that the 18-year-old victim in a homicide at the Wheaton Metro Station on May 18 was running for his life when his alleged killer opened fire.
The accused shooter, 16-year-old Emmanuel Simmonds, is a 10th-grader at Magruder High School in Montgomery County.
At a hearing Thursday, Judge Holly Reed III ordered Simmonds held without bond in an adult jail, calling him a danger to other kids.
"It's a sad state of affairs in the D.C. area," the judge said. "[Juveniles] are "committing violent crimes with guns... killing each other."
Assistant State's Attorney Peter Larson says the victim, Tenneson Leslie Jr., was running for his life down the escalator at the Metro when Simmonds allegedly shot him in the head. He said the shooting and the confrontation between two groups of teens were all caught on Metro surveillance cameras. Larson offered to show Judge Reed the clips, but the judge said he didn't need to see them to rule.
"It's compelling footage," State's Attorney John McCarthy said.
Maryland state law mandates that murder cases against 16-year-olds start in adult court. But they can be moved down to juvenile court later.
"We are going to argue that his matter stay in adult court," McCarthy said.
A public defender argued for Simmonds to be released pending trial, saying incarceration would derail his high school classes. But Reed very quickly rejected that idea.
The judge appeared dismayed that Simmonds had no family, no friends, no relatives in the courtroom.
"They should be here," Reed said.
Simmonds asked if he could say something in his own defense, but his lawyer cut him off, saying it wasn't the time to do so.
Simmonds is charged with second degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison; first degree assault, which carries as much as 25 years; reckless endangerment; and multiple firearms counts, one of which carries another 20 years.
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