KALAMAZOO, Mich. (June 3, 2014) — Fifteen-year-old Victor Garay was arraigned Tuesday on charges of open murder, felony firearm and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of 13-year-old Michael Day.
On Memorial Day, the teen died after being shot in the Edison neighborhood on Memorial Day. Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers have said the incident stemmed from an argument that took place throughout the weekend.
Garay was charged as an adult. Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said he wouldn’t characterize the decision as necessarily difficult or challenging from a legal perspective but said it was sad.
“It’s one I didn’t enjoy making, it’s sad really, that I’m charging a 15-year-old with murder as an adult,” he said.
He says it has been at least a decade since a juvenile has been charged with murder in Kalamazoo County.
Rashad Perez, 18, and 23-year-old Octavius Snell were also charged Tuesday with open murder, felony firearm and conspiracy to commit murder. Snell is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
All of the suspects face life in prison if convicted.
The prosecution requested that bond be denied for Garay, saying he was a flight risk. Kalamazoo Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Stein said the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has been called to the home on a number of occasions of reports that the defendant was a runaway.
Garay’s attorney Scott Wagenaar said it would be in the best interest of Garay to stay where he is, in the Kalamazoo County juvenile home, given the gravity of the charge and the situation in the neighborhood. He said in court he is more interested in Garay’s safety right now.
The prosecution says the weapon used to kill Day was a shotgun; in court they said Garay told law enforcement where the murder weapon was. In Monday’s testimony, where warrants were issued, a Kalamazoo Public Safety Detective said Garay admitted to possessing and shooting a shotgun during the time of the homicide.
During that testimony the detective said investigators learned before the shooting occurred Perez and Garay were overheard talking about shooting a member of the Washington Street Boys. The detective said Snell then joined Perez and Garay and fired shots towards the 1800 block of Race Street.
“Where a member of the Washington Street Boys was killed, being Michael Day,” the detective testified.
All three suspects were denied bond and we will back in court in a few weeks. Getting says police are continuing to investigate the case but didn’t want to speculate if more charges will follow.