VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WVEC) – A second degree murder charge was certified against a teen accused of shooting a young father in June.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said the 15-year-old confessed to murder in a police interview, but the suspect's attorney claimed otherwise.
The teen did admit to being in a car that gunfire came from. The shooting resulted in 18-year-old Isaiah Martin being shot in a cul-de-sac on Minneapolis Drive.
Three other people and the suspect’s cousin, Isaac Wilson, were also in the car, according to testimony.
As the car was leaving, Martin's mother says someone shot her son near the porch of their home, but she didn't see who fired the shot.
She admitted that her son had a gun on him before the shooting and it was visible on his waist.
Andrew Sacks, the victim’s attorney, claimed that was proof enough that the victim could have been portrayed as threatening.
"Somebody might have fired back to protect themselves but the evidence is very unclear that it's my client," said Sacks.
Martin's mom said the incident was a result of bad blood between the group in the car and her son.
She testified that days before her son was killed, he video-chatted with her from his friend's apartment. He showed her via video some teens outside the apartment coaxing him "To fight".
But the mother's testimony was questioned after she took the stand, admitting to not initially telling detectives her son was armed during the shooting.
"Police found the gun in the house, not on the victim's body suggesting the gun had been moved by someone we believe by the mother or someone else," said Sacks.
The mother also failed to admit she also had a gun present in the home. An autopsy report said Martin had a BAC level nearly twice the legal limit when he was shot. His mom denied any knowledge that her son had been drinking.
In court, a recording of the detective interview with the teen suspect was also played. You could hear the teen saying Wilson told him to "Shoot, shoot, shoot."
The suspect admitted to being in the car and being “Scared. Nervous and shaking.” because he had been shot before.
The detective asked how many shots were fired. The teen said he didn't recall.
Prosecutors suggested the interview resulted in a confession and evidence was strong enough to certify the charges against the suspect.
A judge ruled on behalf of the prosecution, but outside the courtroom Sacks maintained that his client was coaxed into a confession.
"He's a 15-year-old kid,” said Sacks “You have an experienced detective who's pushing him. He never admitted to firing that gun."