GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The hearing for the Tanglewood Middle School shooting suspect was waived Thursday morning.
The 12-year-old suspect, whose identity is not being released due to his age, was supposed to appear Thursday morning in court as part of a 30-day detention hearing.
“It’s a tragedy for both families, and all families involved,” said Ryan Beasley, a defense attorney representing the 12-year-old suspect.
The suspect is accused of shooting and killing Jamari Cortez Bonaparte-Jackson in the 700 wing of the school on March 31.
As Greenville County deputies searched the surrounding area, they found the suspect hiding under the deck of a home in the 3000 block of Old Easley Bridge Road.
According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, that is where the gun was recovered and he was taken into custody.
Beasley is one of three attorneys defending the suspect, all whom agreed they did not have enough evidence for a formal argument on why the suspect should be released or detained. Therefore, the hearing was waived.
“We decided, based on today that we really don’t have any evidence in the case yet,” said Beasley. “It’s all about a child and his well-being. And, like I said, we are dealing with a 12-year-old and he doesn’t understand what’s going on.”
Nearly two months after the death of Jamari Jackson, his attorney said family and friends continue trying to come to grips with their sudden loss.
“Put the focus back on Jamari and who he was,” said Marjie Pizarro, Jamari Jackson’s attorney.
She told 7NEWS that he would have celebrated his 13th birthday on May 18th.
“Him becoming a teenager is something this family is never ever going to see,” said Pizarro.
Pizarro said the boy was loved throughout the community.
“This was a tragedy and this is something no family should ever have to endure,” she said.
As the suspect was taken back to confinement at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, questions remain on whether or not he will be tried as an adult.
The Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office submitted a waiver earlier this month requesting he be tried as an adult.
“We are sitting on the sideline as we allow justice to take its course,” said Pizarro.
“I can’t imagine this child going into an adult courtroom and being tried as an adult,” said Beasley. “We are going to need some experts to evaluate him in the next upcoming months. That’s our priority.”
According to the suspect’s attorneys, he is expected back in court at the end of summer or early fall.