Murder suspect calls killing 'mistake'

The Baltimore Sun

The 18-year-old man charged with shooting his 14-year-old girlfriend in the basement of his mother's rowhouse earlier this week told police that the killing was "a mistake," police charging documents say.

Charles Jakes, of the 1900 block of N. Patterson Park Ave., has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Shawndreta Griffin. Police charging documents said the girl was shot in the head and found lying in bed.

Jakes was also shot in his right thumb and, after police and paramedics arrived, he was transported by ambulance to Union Memorial Hospital.

While at the hospital, the charging documents say he told a police officer: "It was a mistake. I didn't mean to kill 'Shorty.'"

Shawndreta was a seventh-grader at Booker T. Washington Middle School in West Baltimore. Her mother, Joel Griffin, told The Sun she had prohibited her daughter from being with Jakes, but she sneaked out of the house Sunday night. She was killed Monday morning.

At the time of the shooting, Jakes' mother and another woman were in the house. Three small children were also sleeping on the third floor, charging documents say.

After Jakes was treated and released from the hospital, he was taken to the police homicide unit, where investigators tried to interview him. But Jakes refused to make any statements, charging documents say.

Earlier this month, Jakes was placed on three years' supervised probation as part of his conviction in other crimes. On April 2, he pleaded guilty to burglary and second-degree assault. Other charges -- including possession of a knife on school grounds -- were dropped as part of his plea, court records show.

A judge sentenced him to five years in prison, suspended the sentence and then placed him on probation.

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