A Harford County District Court judge has denied bail to two Edgewood teenaged boys who are charged as adults in connection with a fatal shooting in the Edgewood High School parking lot last Friday night.
Yasin Wallace Powell, 16, of the 2700 block of Bourne Way in Edgewood, and Jaylin Jerome Brown, 15, of the 400 block of Silverside Road in Edgewood, are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Thailek Jacob Willis, 19.
The two also face charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, second-degree murder, armed robbery, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in a violent crime and reckless endangerment, according to court records.
Willis was inthe parking lot of the school in the 2400 block of Willoughby Beach Road allegedly to sell marijuana, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Powell and Brown approached Willis’ vehicle and allegedly brandished handguns and announced a robbery, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
When Willis tried to flee in his car, Powell and Brown allegedly each fired a shot and one of the rounds hit and killed Willis, according to court records.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the parking lot at 9:15 p.m. last Friday, where they found Willis suffering from the single gunshot wound. He was taken by ambulance to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Powell and Brown were arrested and charged Monday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In reviewing each defendant’s cases during separate bail hearings Wednesday afternoon, Harford District Court Judge Susan Hazlett said the charges are very serious and she didn’t see any conditions she could impose that would allow the two suspects to live safely in the community.
“Regardless of who hit the victim, both shot a gun at the victim,” Hazlett said.
Detectives investigating the murder found two different shell casings, a 9 mm and a 380 caliber, according to court records.
Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Meehan told Hazlett that Brown had the .380, Powell the 9 mm. He did not say which bullet killed Willis.
“Regardless, two shots were fired into the vehicle and hit the victim in the shoulder and went into his heart, which is what actually killed him,” Meehan said.
“I can’t ignore the fact that this is a 15-year-old child or the fact that he allegedly fired a firearm, regardless if he fired the shot that killed [Willis],” Hazlett said in considering Brown’s bail. “He engaged in dangerous behavior that resulted in someone losing their life.”
“Two different people fired two different weapons at a person and one killed the victim,” Hazlett said during Powell’s hearing.
Russell Neverdon, a lawyer representing Brown at his bail review, asked Hazlett to consider bail and intensive home or electronic monitoring in the case of his client, a 15-year-old boy who’s a football player at Edgewood High School, where he would be starting his junior year in September.
“So he could still go to school,” Neverdon said. “In light of the circumstances, there is nothing to indicate anything more than his mere presence at the particular scene.”
Brown attends Zion Baptist Church with his family and participates in a mentorship program, Neverdon said.
Both of Brown’s parents were in the courtroom for the bail review.
Brown’s father is disabled and his mother works for the Social Security Administration; they have owned their home in Edgewood for 15 years, Neverdon said.
Neverdon and Brown’s family declined to comment further about the case after the bail review.
Steven Levine, the public defender representing Powell, said Powell lives with his grandmother and has lived in Harford County his entire life.
Powell has no prior contact with the criminal justice system as a juvenile or adult, Levine said.
He also suggested bail with electronic monitoring and said he had explained to Powell the gravity of the charges.
“The statement of charges is vague as to who did what and [Powell’s] actual contribution to what transpired,” Levine said.
Powell, whom Levine said works at the Maryland House, told Hazlett he hoped to be released on bail.
“I hope to finish school,” Powell said.
Both have preliminary hearings scheduled Aug. 22 in District Court.