Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More On 16-Year Old Accused Killer

Several reporters for the Star contribute to another lengthy story taking a closer look at Simeon Adams, the 16-year old accused of killing Nathan Trapuzzano and shooting another man. A fair amount of the information has been previously reported, while some information previously reported only in a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, makes its way into a local report for the first time. It claims that the only contact between Adams and law enforcement before his arrest after a bloody crime spree came on March 4 when his probation officer, Tracy McDonald, who has since been fired, knocked on the door of his home.

The reporters find that the county's juvenile justice system had deemed him only a "moderate" risk despite his known history of carrying a gun. It repeats juvenile court Judge Marilyn Moore's contention that his probation officer is to blame for him being on the streets for his failure to request detention of Adams after more than a dozen probation violations. The story notes that, although Adams had previously faced gun charges, a juvenile can only be charged with a misdemeanor for gun violations and those charges are typically bargained away by prosecutors because they are supposedly more difficult to prove. At least that's the explanation for why Adams' prior gun charges had not been prosecuted. During his first gun arrest, Adams blurted out to police during his arrest, "Hey, that gun is mine," according to police. When he was arrested a second time for an auto theft, he told his probation officer that he needed the gun he possessed at the time of his arrest for his protection. The prosecutors dropped that charged during plea negotiations.

An attorney from Richmond tells the Star that it's pretty much standard operating procedure throughout the state for prosecutors to dismiss some charges against juveniles facing multiple criminal charges in exchange for an admission of at least some of the crimes. "The approach is always we want to do the broadest amount of charges that we think we can get across the finish line," Kaarin Lueck said. In Adams' case, that meant he was sentenced for only home detention after facing multiple criminal charges from a series of arrests over a several month period. The story claims it would have been unusual for someone like Adams with a "moderate" risk assessment to be sentenced to detention. "Marion County has been at the forefront of such efforts to keep youths out of juvenile detention," the Star reports.

The story repeats IMPD's belief that Adams was one of the two individuals involved in the March 22 robbery of the C&C Midwest Firearms gun store on Crawfordsville Road, which was plainly caught on surveillance cameras, although he has not been formally charged in the break-in and theft of more than 30 firearms valued at $13,000. Only one of those guns have been recovered to date, and police claim that none of those guns were used to shoot Trapuzzano or his other shooting victim, Erick Douglas, another teen, Dailand Butler, who was shot in the same area two days before Trapuzzano's shooting or Adams, who was found with a minor gunshot wound late the same the day he is accused of shooting Trapuzzano. Despite earlier news reports claiming that Adams suffered a critical gunshot wound to the neck during a shootout with other juveniles, the Star now says that he "wasn't hurt that badly" in the shooting.

For the first time, the Star identifies the accomplice, Martez "Duh Duh" McGraw, who was with Adams when he shot Trapuzzano and Douglas, although it doesn't delve into the circumstances as to why that individual has not been charged with any crimes. Other media reports indicate that McGraw was already facing felony gun charges and resisting law enforcement for an arrest back in February. McGraw provided a sworn statement to police that Adams had ordered Trapuzzano to strip off his clothes after he forced him in between a tire shop and strip club on West 16th Street before shooting him. Court records also show that Adams had told Marvel Robinson that he had shot Trapuzzano "because white man tried to tussle with me."

The Star report includes the obligatory meme about how Adams was viewed by others around him as "likable", if a bit "mischievous." His former English teacher at the Math & Science Academy seemed smitten by him, who described him as being a bit chubby before his growth spurt. "I remember his eyes — hazel, light brown," Elaine Taylor said. "He was a short, chubby fellow," Taylor said. "He had personality. He was mischievous but likable. He liked to prank the girls. He'd make smart remarks on how they looked good or didn't look good." Taylor told the Star that he addressed her as "Ms. Taylor girl, despite her admonitions that he show more respect." "He acted up," she said. "I think he was seeking attention." He was a poor student, she said, often absent. "It was hard to get work out of him," she said, "but he was personable." The Star says Adams had his mother's name tattooed on his chest. She was pulled dead from the White River when he was a year old. His father, Robert Harvey, who signed his parental rights away, served time in prison for auto theft and robbery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One quote in the story catches my attention as GROSS NEGLECT of a duty to protect the people of Indianapolis:

"Marion County has been at the forefront of such efforts to keep youths out of juvenile detention" -The result of that sick credo is that 2 people recently murdered would be alive today had the violent Superpredators been properly incarcerated!

...and that Juvenile Judge who is so proud of turning these Superpredators loose on us brags about having so few cases/criminals incarcerated. Sickening.