A Columbus teenager has been charged with murder and aggravated robbery in juvenile court for her role in an officer-involved shooting that killed another teenager.
Masonique Saunders, 16, did not appear in court, as a judge agreed to her attorney’s request to waive her appearance.
During the hearing, prosecutors filed a motion to relinquish jurisdiction, so a hearing to decide whether she will be bound over and charged as an adult will be held Dec. 20.
Saunders has been charged with murder and aggravated robbery as a juvenile for her role in an officer-involved shooting that killed Julius Tate, Jr.
According to court documents, Saunders had a handgun during her role in the robbery of a police officer. Police say an undercover officer posed as a potential buyer and met with a suspect, who turned out to be Tate. Another police officer shot and killed Tate after police say he pointed a gun at the undercover officer.
Saunders’ attorney said his client had nothing to do with the robbery or shooting resulted in the death of Tate. Her attorney is also representing Tate’s family as they consider a wrongful death lawsuit, said his client had nothing to do with any of this.
“She’s denying that she was involved in this. And I’m not getting into the specifics of the case, but she’s denying involvement,” said Byron Potts, her defense attorney.
Potts asked the magistrate to release his client to her mother with an ankle monitor, but the state argued against it, based on Saunders’ prior record. The magistrate hearing the case decided not to release her to her mother.
Franklin County juvenile records show Saunders has several cases against her from the last four years.