Dante Johnston, 18, and a 16-year-old are accused of shooting and killing Dezmond Vaughn-Butler, 17. Vaughn-Butler died in the hospital the next day.
This shooting happened after 9:30 pm on Cleveland Avenue in South Linden. According to court records, it started with a verbal fight. They also say there is video of both suspects shooting Vaughn-Butler.
During Johnston’s hearing, you could see and hear him crying. The judge gave Johnston a $500,000 bond.
During the 16-year-olds hearing, he didn’t seem as emotional. He was fidgeting and nodding at people in the stands. However, his mother who was sitting two seats down had tears running down her face.
In court, the prosecutor stated this is not the teen’s first time in the Juvenile Intervention Center.
“He does have a prior record where he was on a term of JIC and due to the new allegations of murder, such a serious charge we would request that he remain in the JIC at this time,” said Emalea Helisek, Franklin County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney juvenile division.
She said the 16-year-old has a previous case for carrying a concealed weapon and aggravated robbery. For that reason and the seriousness of this crime, she requested the judge keep him in the facility.
“Due to the extreme serious nature of the allegation as well as his prior court history, the fact that he is on JIC already for carry a concealed weapon and aggravated robbery I have a lot of concerns with this young man being in the community and his appearance at future court dates as well as the safety of the community so I am going to maintain him in the juvenile intervention center at this time,” said Magistrate Greta Huna.
The 16-year-old will remain in custody while the hearings play out. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 7, while Johnston’s is set for Nov. 9.