Teen’s Random Shooting Killed Straight-A student

Posted on March 23, 2007. Filed under: California, dispute - acquaintance |

Sacramento, California –

Tyes, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, went to Del Paso Heights when two of his friends called him on a cell phone to say that somebody had threatened his younger brother at the party on Cypress Street.

“Get out here,” one of them told him, according to Deputy District Attorney Rick Miller. “Don’t be a punk.”

According to Miller, Tyes got a ride to the corner of Roanoke Avenue and Cypress Street, a few houses away from the site of the party. He then pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and fired 13 shots down the street, where Jelisa Office was sitting on the car she had recently purchased with money she earned on her fast-food job.

One of the bullets struck her in the head, and the girl who talked about going to Grambling State University died instantly.

In five days of testimony, the trial was marked by four teenaged witnesses – including three who gave police highly incriminating statements against Tyes – who refused to testify, drastically changed their stories from what they had initially told investigators, or out-and-out lied, according to the prosecutor.

Two of the witnesses had identified Tyes as the person who fired the gun the night of the killing. Another had told police that Tyes admitted to shooting the girl. The fourth lived in the house where police eventually recovered the murder weapon.

“These were people who were willing to come into court and, obviously to you folks, flat out commit perjury,” Miller told the jury in his closing argument. “A completely innocent girl lost her life, and they don’t care.”

Miller said the murder was “simply about showing up, respect, and not being a punk.”

Despite the story his friends told Tyes, there was no evidence that his brother had been threatened the night of the party. Miller said “there was no fight” and that “nothing ever happened” between Tyes’ brother and anybody else at the Cypress Street party.

Even then, Tyes “attacked people who had nothing to do with anything,” least of all the non-threat against his younger brother, according to Miller. More on Sacramento Bee

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