DETROIT -- Three teens were arraigned today in 36th District Court in connection with last week's shooting near Henry Ford High School that left one student dead and three others injured.
Devon Bell and Derryck Brantley, both 18, and 15-year-old William Morton each were charged with one count of first-degree murder; three counts of assault with intent to commit murder; and one count of felony firearm. If convicted, they will serve life in prison.
Brantley is the son of Detroit homicide detective Derryck Thomas, and the car allegedly used in the shootings is registered to Brantley's mother, police said. Detroit Police on Friday turned the case over to Wayne County prosecutors because it involved a Detroit officer. Prosecutor Kym Worthy then handed the case to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, because Worthy said her office often worked with Thomas. Magistrate Millicent Sherman denied bail to the three teens. A preliminary examination is scheduled for Oct. 30.
Christopher Walker, 16, a student at Henry Ford, was killed in the shootings that students say stemmed from a long-festering gang problem at the school.
Three other students also were shot, but were not targets, investigators said.
They are recovering from wounds that are not thought to be life-threatening.
Brantley's attorney, Otis Culpepper, said his client was a "witness at best."
Culpepper said Brantley was at the school to give his girlfriend, a Henry Ford student, a ride home.
"A friend asked if he could give another kid a ride and he gave him his keys and let him know his stuff in the trunk," he said.
Culpepper said Brantley drove the two youths to the high school. The teens got out and took their belongings from the trunk. Culpepper insisted that Brantley did not know there was a gun in the trunk.
"He heard shots and then the two got back in the car," said Culpepper. "He drove them for three blocks and then asked them to get out."
Culpepper said his client turned himself in to police over the weekend and was released on $50,000 bond. Culpepper asked Sherman to continue that bond but Donna Pendergast, a prosecutor with the Michigan attorney general's office, argued that new information had come forward in the case since then.
"Evidence is being developed to implicate the defendant (Brantley)," she said. "By the defendant's own statement, he took this person who had two guns drove them to where the shooting occurred, took the guns out the trunk and then let them back in the truck."
Sherman sided with Pendergast and remanded Brantley to the Wayne County Jail.
Morton was represented by attorney Ron Cromer. Devon Bell was not represented.
Family members of Brantley were in the courtroom.
Meanwhile, a Detroit homicide lieutenant has been transferred to another unit while city police investigate whether he violated policy by releasing Brantley following the shootings.
Lt. Steve Walton interviewed Brantley shortly after the shooting. After the interview, Walton allowed him to go home; now Detroit police officials are looking into what policy, if any, Walton may have violated, said Daniel Cherrin, spokesman for Detroit Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr.
"They've moved the lieutenant to another unit while they investigate what happened," Cherrin said. "Right now, they want to find out if he violated any rules by releasing (Brantley) during the course of the investigation."