Two teens accused in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of a Palo Verde freshman stood together for their first joint court hearing on Friday.
On one side stood Ezekiel Williams, who is accused of driving the car used in the shooting and of encouraging the triggerman. On the other stood 16-year-old Gerald Q. Davison, who police say fired the fatal round that killed 15-year-old Christopher Privett on Feb. 15.
Authorities said Williams is 19, but his mother said he is 18.
They appeared in court from the county jail via teleconference. Williams and Davison were dressed in blue prison jumpers and wore blank expressions on their faces.
Both teens will remain behind bars over the weekend and are scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court on Monday.
Williams’ attorney, Brent Bryson, asked Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa to release Williams on house arrest while authorities put their case together. Police booked Williams into the county jail on one count of accessory to murder and three counts of accessory to attempted murder.
Saragosa denied Bryson’s request to release Williams on house arrest.
Prosecutors haven’t filed formal charges against Williams. Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci said authorities are still compiling information in the case. Police were still conducting interviews Thursday night, and the district attorney’s office didn’t yet have the autopsy report on Privett.
Saragosa accepted prosecutors’ requests to extend the deadline for filing formal charges against Williams.
Davison’s public defender, Edward Kane, didn’t fight the prosecution’s requests to hold a hearing Monday. Saragosa will probably discuss bail at that hearing.
At least a dozen supporters of Williams attended Friday’s hearing.
After the hearing, Bryson told reporters that Williams will plead not guilty.
He urged the public not to jump to conclusions in the case.
“Just take a deep breath and let’s let all the facts come out,” he said.
Authorities said Davison was riding in a car with four other people — including Williams, who was driving — on Feb. 15 along Alta Drive near Pavilion Center Drive, near Palo Verde High School. They pulled up alongside Privett, who was walking with several others. Police said Davison opened fire, striking Privett.
There are differing reasons Davison began shooting, police said. Williams told police Davison got into an altercation with four other youths moments before the shooting.
A witness who was inside the car, Mandesha Walker, told police the shooting was in retaliation for someone in Privett’s group displaying gang signs at her.
Contact reporter David Kihara at email@example.com or (702) 380-1039.