The teens charged in the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy in Overtown nearly five months ago admitted to the crime to the boy's mother, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.
Ernest Rowell, 18, appeared before a judge Monday in Miami-Dade court. The judge sent Rowell to juvenile court because he was only 17-years-old at the time of the crime. It will be up to a the juvenile system to decide whether to convene a grand jury for an indictment as an adult.
The other teen didn't appear in court. Both were being held without bond Monday.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes discussed the case at a news conference Monday afternoon, where Fernandez Rundle said the case will be reviewed for adult court.
"All children's lives matter, black lives matter, the lives of everyone in this community matters, it matters to all of us, it matters to the community, it matters to the police, it matters to our office," Fernandez Rundle said. "Even though we know this will not bring much of a sense of peace to the family, hopefully they'll find some justice, some kernel of hope in the arrests that have been made."
Miami Police arrested Rowell over the weekend, and charged him with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 10-year-old Marlon Eason. A 15-year-old boy was also arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Investigators said they used shell casings to link the teens to the March murders of Eason and 16-year-old Richard Hallman.
Just 10-years-old, Eason was killed in a drive-by shooting as he played basketball just steps away from his home.
Two hours earlier 16-year-old Hallman was shot and killed less than a mile away. No charges have been filed in Hallman's death.
"A child should be able to play in front of his house without fear," Llanes said.
According to an arrest affidavit released Monday, Eason's mother encountered Rowell and the other teen, who admitted to killing her son. The teens said they were shooting at a car that had gang rivals inside, the affidavit said.
"They also tried to justify their actions by saying that they had shot Marlon Eason by accident and being apologetic," the affidavit said.
Rowell and the other teen were arrested for trespass in April, the affidavit said. During the arrest, the other teen fled from officers and tossed a firearm onto the roof of a home, the affidavit said.
Investigators were able to link the firearm to the shell casings, the affidavit said.