Prosecutors on Wednesday formally charged three teens arrested in connection with the shooting death of 6-year-old King Carter in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Leonard Adams, 18, and Irwen Pressley, 17, and Tamar Teems, 16, were all charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder.
As the mother and father of the slain boy watched from the courtroom gallery, only Pressley appeared in court; he was shackled and dressed in a red jumpsuit reserved for high-profile inmates.
Lawyers for Adams and Pressley entered pleas of not guilty. Teems, who had been charged initially as a minor, remains in juvenile detention and is expected to transferred soon to an adult jail.
“We just want justice,” the boy’s mother told reporters after the brief hearing.
King, a first-grader at Van E. Blanton Elementary School, was killed last month in the crossfire when two rival groups began shooting at each other outside the Blue Lake Village apartments in the 1400 block of Northwest 103rd Street.
The boy’s father had just given him $3. King was walking to a store to buy candy.
The killing angered South Florida, sparking rallies and forceful calls to end persistent violence that last year claimed the lives of 33 teens and children across Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade police say Adams, Pressley and Teems opened fire at a rival identified only as “JuJu.”
Somebody returned fire, nicking Adams in the neck. Detectives honed in on him after he was admitted to Jackson North Hospital. He later admitted to his role in the shooting, police said.
Pressley admitted a 9 mm handgun found at his home was used to shoot at “JuJu.” The teen was on supervised release on a robbery charge — and cops managed to trace him to the scene because he was wearing a GPS ankle monitor, authorities said.
The shooting, police say, stemmed from a feud that played out over Facebook.
It is unclear whose bullet killed King.