Waiver hearing held for teen charged in murder of St. Joe Co. corrections officer

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:51 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - He was only 14 years old when he was charged with a Mishawaka murder last summer.

A hearing was held Monday in juvenile court on a motion to move the case to adult court.

Late last June, a feud on Snapchat escalated into a daylight drive by shooting at a home in the 1900 block of Milburn Boulevard in Mishawaka.

Testimony on Monday indicates that the 14-year-old was one of five people in the passing car, and one of only two who were shooting. The other was allegedly his 17-year-old uncle.

Of the 20 or so total shots fired, police say five hit the house and one hit the chest of a 28-year-old corrections officer at the St. Joseph County Jail, killing Rhema Harris.

Police say Harris was an unintended victim who was at the home at the time visiting a friend.

Police say the 14-year-old was firing a handgun, and that the fatal shot came from his uncle’s rifle. Yet, both teens were charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal recklessness in what the law calls accomplice liability.

The defense argued that this is the 14-year old’s first and only referral to the juvenile justice system.

During his last year in junior high his attendance was said to be good, but his grades were failing. The boy was said to have become frustrated at school and began acting out with 13 disciplinary write ups.

The intended victim of the drive by shooting was said to be the granddaughter of the homeowner on Milburn. It’s believed her stepfather’s home was burglarized by the older gunman last February.