2 of 3 suspects charged in passing toddler

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) – Two of the three people arrested after a 2-year-old Battle Creek-year-old was killed in a car shootout last week have been formally charged with murder.

Martavon Nelson, 18, was charged with murder, assault and obstruction of justice/failure to appear on Monday. Bond was rejected, meaning he will remain behind bars while his case makes its way through the courts.

Jaylen Smith, 16, was charged as an adult with first degree murder, a triple felony involving firearms, firing a firearm from a vehicle resulting in death, eviction from a building resulting in death and carrying a concealed weapon. Binding was rejected.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said Smith faces adult charges based on the nature of the crime he is accused of.

“Some crimes we can automatically waive — arson on a residential building, first and second degree murder, solicitation of first or second degree murder, conspiracy to murder, armed robbery, things like that,” Gilbert said. “We can actually charge a juvenile as an adult without having to go through a juvenile court hearing.”

the shoot happened in the early hours of September 20 on Cliff Street near Douglas Street in Battle Creek. Police say an SUV drove by and three people inside fired multiple shots at an apartment building. Kai Turner, 2, was shot in the head. He died later in the day in hospital.

“You shoot out of a car. You don’t know who you’re shooting at. You shoot into a building and a small child dies because of your behavior. These are serious. Those are aggravating factors,” Gilbert said. “It’s bad enough when you’re dealing with an adult who’s been killed. But now a 2 year old? … It hurts a lot.”

The Battle Creek Police Department says the people it suspects were intended targets were in another apartment in the same building.

The SUV used in the shooting was later found on September 20. It had been stolen two days earlier.

The suspects were arrested Wednesday and Thursday, two in Battle Creek and one in the Detroit area. The third suspect has not yet been formally charged, so News 8 is not yet using his name. he is 18

Authorities said tips from the public helped police locate the suspects.

“Usually in a murder case, we have a hard time getting people to cooperate. People are often afraid to cooperate. A lot of times they don’t want to cooperate because they don’t want to, because their name is out there,” said Calhoun County Attorney David Gilbert. “In this case … we have more cooperation than we usually get in one of these cases because there is a lot of public outcry.”

Gilbert added that there are more people who could provide important pieces of the investigative puzzle.

“We’re getting more help. But again…there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of information that isn’t being made public,” Gilbert said. “If we talk about more help, yes there’s more help, there’s more outrage … but there’s a lot more help that could be given.”

Nelson and Smith are expected for a court hearing on October 5.

— News 8’s David Horak contributed to this report.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/calhoun-county/2-of-3-suspects-charged-in-drive-by-that-killed-toddler/ 2 of 3 suspects charged in passing toddler

Dais Johnston

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