LIMA — Murders charges will be sought against six teenagers who reportedly set in motion a plan to rob a Lima man last Friday, only to have that poorly-orchestrated scheme result in the man’s shooting death.
An Allen County grand jury will be asked to return murder indictments against two of the teens prosecutors say were complicit in the robbery attempt which ended in the death of 17-year-old Lima resident Jaden Halpern.
Four juveniles who participated in the planning and attempted execution of the robbery will also face murder charges.
Jaquan Glenn of Lima and Keion Darden of Louisville, Kentucky, appeared in Lima Municipal Court on Thursday for probable cause hearings. The 18-year-olds saw their cases bound over to Allen County Common Pleas Court for grand jury consideration. Magistrates John Payne and Richard Warren continued the $900,000 bonds for Glenn and Darden, respectively.
New details surrounding the shooting emerged during Thursday’s hearings as Lima Police Department Detective Steve Stechschulte took the witness stand. He described events that led to police being called to 764 W. Lane Ave. on the morning of June 10. Halpern was found dead inside the residence. A preliminary autopsy report from the Lucas County Coroners Office revealed he died as the result of a single gunshot wound, Stechschulte said.
Stechschulte said Glenn told police he had “picked up a couple of females” earlier that morning and took them to a residence in the 100 block of East Fourth Street.
“He said one person brought up the idea to commit a robbery and a female came up with Jayden Halpern as a potential target. He was believed to have a large quantity of marijuana and some guns in the home,” the LPD detective said.
The group, which included Glenn, Darden, a juvenile male and three juvenile females, drove to the Lane Avenue residence. Stechschulte testified that the females attempted to lure Halpern outside the home in hopes of carrying out a robbery. When that failed, two males attempted to force their way inside the home.
Glenn told the detective the two males carrying replica weapons — an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun — got to the threshold of the entrance when they were engaged by Halpern.
“A shot was fired and everybody ran,” Stechschulte said.
The single bullet struck Halpern in the right side of his abdomen. He was found by officers lying on a bed inside the home, already deceased.
Stechschulte said Darden gave a similar story when interviewed by police. He admitted carrying a replica handgun and being the second person to attempt to enter the home. The unnamed person in front of him was said to be carrying a replica AR-15 rifle.
“We never did find the pistol,” Stechschulte said, adding that a rifle discovered by police was a replica.
Attorneys Chima Ekeh and Rafael Villegas, representing Glenn and Darden, respectively, each sought a reduction in their clients’ bond. Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick opposed the request in both cases, calling the defendants’ behaviour “egregious” and telling the magistrates that murder charges would be sought in both cases.
Hearing are scheduled in Allen County Juvenile Court on Tuesday for the four juvenile suspects. Each reportedly will be charged with murder.
Stechschulte said the names of the juveniles involved will be released once charges have been finalized.
“This ought to be broadcast in all schools so young people can see what happens in tragedies such as this when kids think they’re just playing around,” Magistrate Warren said.