Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Denise Navarre Cubbon ruled today that Titus Crittendon, 16, of 731 Pinewood Ave., will be tried in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for two counts of felonious assault.
The Crittendon youth, who had no prior criminal history, reportedly shot 17-year-old Tyreece Richardson in the hip near Nicholas Street and Prouty Avenue, in South Toledo, on Thanksgiving. When police arrived at the scene, the Crittendon youth and a second unidentified male fled.
During a certification hearing last week, Toledo police Officer Melvin Russell testified that he was chasing the teens but lost the second male after he jumped a fence.
Officer Russell said the Crittendon youth “looked at me” and fired a single shot, which went by the right side of the officer's head.
The officer, who was not injured, returned a single shot. The teen was also not injured, but continued to run.
The teen's attorney, Michael Bryant, said the Crittendon youth “is nothing more than a child living under an auspicious of fear” which is why the teen had a gun.
Mr. Bryant said the back story starts in 2008 when his father, William Braylock, shot and killed a gang member, Christopher Ross, 17, who Braylock believed was involved in a break-in to the man's home weeks earlier. Braylock remains in prison for the crime.
Lori Olender, a Lucas County assistant prosecutor in charge of the juvenile division, said there was no evidence to show the shootings had anything to do with the actions of the teen's father.
A quarrel between the Crittendon and Richardson youths began at the Westfield Franklin Park Mall when the Richardson youth, who was not in court, reportedly made fun of the Crittendon youth for selling candy, said Toledo police Detective Rick Molnar.
The fight apparently escalated and resulted in the first shooting, the detective said.
The teen reportedly told the detective he purchased his gun, “for protection,” on the streets for $230, money given to him by his sister. He also reportedly told the detective that he wanted a gun because he believed the Richardson youth also owned a gun; Detective Molnar said there was no evidence that, at the time of the shooting, the Richardson youth was in possession of a gun.
Detective Molnar also testified that the Crittendon youth said, during questioning, that he shot at Officer Russell because, “he was afraid to be caught and beat by police.”
Mr. Bryant closed by saying that the Crittendon youth felt he needed a gun to protect his family, “from gang members who are out to get him” and that the teen could benefit from being rehabilitated in the juvenile justice system, rather than in prison.
The teen will continue to be held in detention at the Lucas County juvenile justice center; no trial dates have been set in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.