The mother of a 17-year-old charged as an adult in a road-rage killing says she tried before the fatal shooting to get authorities to re-arrest her son for violating his probation in a carjacking last summer.
Mikayal Hendricks is charged with first-degree murder and more than a dozen other charges in the death Oct. 4 of Lawrence “Tony” Price, 73, in the 4400 block of Liberty Heights Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.
In an emotional interview Wednesday outside her Greenspring home, Mikayal’s mother said she received no response when she called the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services about a month before Price’s death. She wanted to have Mikayal taken back into custody for violating his probation because he cut off an ankle monitor and repeatedly missed a court-ordered curfew.
“How many parents call and say, ‘Come get my kid?’ ” asked his mother, Tia, who declined to give her last name. “Shouldn’t you have came and got him then? He wouldn’t’ve had the chance to get in trouble like this.”
The Department of Juvenile Services declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality laws protecting juveniles.
“We make every effort with every kid that comes through our system to see that they get the resources they need,” said Eric Solomon, a department spokesman.
Price’s death offers another example of the shortcomings of the criminal justice system’s handling of juvenile cases, according to the suspect’s mother and City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, who represents Northwest Baltimore and was on a police ride-along during the teen’s arrest amid a spate of carjackings last summer.
Mikayal was initially charged as an adult in that case. While there were hundreds of victim-impact letters from members of the community who sought to keep the case in adult court, Schleifer said, a judge transferred the case to juvenile court after hearing from the teenager’s character witnesses.
“This kid had a phenomenal support system,” Schleifer said. “There was a tremendous amount of friends and family in the courtroom — nothing but love and support for him.”
He added that he was “discouraged” by the carjacking’s being moved to juvenile court, where sentences are often more lenient and outcomes are shielded from public view.
Police say Mikayal fatally shot Price, a retired mason who lived in Ashburton, when he was sitting at a red light at about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 4. According to charging documents, another vehicle pulled up and the driver said to Price: “What are you staring at.”
An argument ensued, then several shots were fired at Price before the car drove away. Mikayal acknowledged that he’d been driving the car, but said a passenger, not he, fired the shots, according to the police report.
The victim’s son, Lionel Price, said Wednesday he was glad to hear police had arrested a suspect.
“I hope they give him the maximum sentence for it,” he said. “It was senseless. There was no reason for it to happen.”
Mikayal’s mother said she didn’t know whether her son had committed the killing, but she sobbed Wednesday while contemplating the grief Price’s death brought to his family.
“It doesn’t take the hurt away; it doesn’t change the devastation; it doesn’t change none of that,” she said. “Nevertheless, I deeply apologize. I hope he wasn’t involved.”
Mikayal is being held at the Baltimore City Youth Detention Center without bond.
Price was born in Philadelphia on Christmas Day 1944.
He helped build the World Trade Center in New York, the Columbus Center in the Inner Harbor and part of the Washington Metro subway, according to an obituary in his funeral pamphlet.
He and his wife, Cheryl, had been married for 38 years.
A celebration of his life took place Oct. 13 at Greater New Hope Baptist Church.