BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Two people accused of shooting and killing a toddler in September are heading to trial, court documents show.
Martavon Nelson, 18, and Jaylen Smith, 16, were bound over to circuit court on Monday on charges of open murder and other counts. The charges stem from the Sept. 20 death of 2-year-old Kai Turner, who was shot and killed while sleeping in his Battle Creek home.
A judge decided to send the pair to trial after hearing evidence at a preliminary hearing Dec. 8. At the hearing, the main point of contention was intent.
Investigators say neither Kai nor his family were the intended targets and that the shooters were aiming for people who lived in another apartment in the same house. Defense attorneys argued that the death was just a “terrible, sad mistake.” The prosecution said although they killed the wrong person, Nelson and Smith still had premeditation.
Nelson and Smith were arrested a few days after the shooting. Also arrested was a third man who has not yet been formally charged in connection to the death. On Dec. 8, Gilbert told News 8 that the investigation involving that third suspect continues.
— News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this story.