Friday, February 10, 2006

Where Are The Parents?

Robert Bailey was a smart, handsome young man of 11 who was well loved by his family, friends and school mates. He was always smiling. He was a smart, happy young man who made people smile just being in his presence. His Mom & Dad, along with their 5 children, had moved to a good neighborhood to get away from the drugs and violence that plagued their former neighborhood. They wanted a better life for the family. Life was good.

On the evening of January 21st, Robert was watching the Disney Channel with his 4 year old sister in the living room. He heard a commotion coming from the back yard and went to his back door to see what was going on. Seconds later, he was shot in the chest. His parents ran to his aid but there was nothing anyone could do. A week later, a 16 year old was arrested and charged with murder and a 15 year old was arrested for withholding information.

Read the following story from today's (02/10/06) edition of Charlestons Post & Courier. I am posting it here rather than linking to it because the P&C charges to read their archives, which this will become on 02/11/06. My comments are in italics.

For nearly three weeks, some North Charleston residents have expressed amazement that it was a stray bullet that killed 11-year-old Robert Bailey.

In testimony Thursday, a North Charleston police detective said the shot that tore through a fence and a back-door window wasn't an accident at all.

The two shots allegedly fired by Tehran Frazier, 16, were an attempt to scare the boy, Detective Keith Elmore said.

"(Frazier) saw someone looking out the window and thought they would call the cops," Elmore said. "He wanted to scare him off."

Robert had been watching television with his sister Jan. 21 when he heard a gunshot and walked to the back-door window of his home in the NorthPointe neighborhood off Dorchester Road to see what the commotion was about.

More details emerged Thursday during a detention hearing in Charleston County Family Court to determine if Frazier's 15-year-old friend, who is charged with withholding information from police, should be released from jail.

Judge R. Wright Turbeville ruled there was probable cause to charge the teenager, who must remain in the juvenile detention center for at least 10 more days.

Under oath, Elmore provided a detailed description of the information provided by the 15-year-old that led to Frazier's murder charge Feb. 1.

Roberts mother, Cassandra Bailey, and family members of the 15-year-old listened.

"To tell you the truth, I don't know what to think," Bailey said several hours after the hearing. "There are a bunch of different stories out there right now."

According to what the 15-year-old told Elmore, here's how events unfolded:

The 15-year-old, whose name wasn't released because he is a juvenile, was seen rolling a marijuana joint on Jan. 31 with two other teenagers at the Trailwood Mobile Home Park. Why is a 15 yr old smoking pot? Where are the parents? Elmore caught the 15-year-old, drove him to the station, and asked him about the homicide.

The 15-year-old told Elmore he had information about Roberts death.

Initially, the teenager provided a different story and the name of another person as the shooter. After further questioning, the 15-year-old told Elmore that he wanted to speak with a family member.

Elmore questioned the truthfulness of the teenagers story when his mother arrived at the station.

When his mother told him to tell the truth, the teen admitted he had lied, Elmore said.

He told Elmore that Frazier was the shooter. He said Frazier had robbed him of $6 on a dirt path behind Roberts house, although Elmore continues to question whether the robbery actually occurred.

After the robbery, Frazier fired a shot into the ground.

Seconds later the teenagers saw someone looking out the window. Frazier fired two shots in Roberts direction. One shot tore through a fence and window and struck the boy. Unaware that someone had been shot, the teens ran several hundred yards on the path toward their homes in the Trailwood Mobile Home Park.

They stopped at the end of the path, slapped hands and talked about Frazier's new handgun before they walked to their separate homes. The kid slaps hands with the person who 'robbed him'?

The 15-year-old said he realized what had happened when his mother turned on the television news.

"I know who did that," Elmore said the 15-year-old told his mother. His mother told him "to be quiet and mind his own business," Elmore said. Well, I guess I can see what type of Mom she is? Instead of asking what happened and offering to help, to call a lawyer (you can get one for free), she tells him to be quiet.

After Elmore provided information in court, the lawyer for the teenager addressed the judge.

Peter David Brown argued for the teenagers release. He said the 15-year-old first lied to police because he was afraid he or his family could be killed.

"He is on a second- and fifth-grade level in some areas," Brown said. "He needed his mother's advice." Ok, obviously, the Mom's advice was crappy. Also, he's 15 and on a 2nd to 5th grade level. Who's fault is that? Yes, SC has the worst schools in the nation but you CAN excel if you try and have FAMILY SUPPORT. Where was the Mom? Hell, where is the Dad? Notice that he is not mentioned anywhere.

Turbeville also listened to Shawn Barfield, a lawyer in the Family Court division of the solicitor's office, before he ordered the 15-year-old to remain in the juvenile detention center.

Meanwhile, detectives said they likely won't return to a retention pond in the mobile home park to search for a gun unless they receive another tip. No gun was found when detectives searched the murky water Feb. 3.

Elmore said they searched the pond after the 15-year-old told police during his initial story that the gun was thrown into the pond. The teenager later changed that story and has been unable to provide a location for the gun.

North Charleston police continue to search for the gun used to kill 11-year-old Robert Bailey. Anyone with information about the gun can call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

Reach John Chambliss at 937-5573 or jchambliss@postandcourier.com.


God rest your soul Robert. You will be missed. The citizens of Charleston will seek justice for you. And in your honor, may all parents pay more attention to their children.

1 comment:

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