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 while riding his bike in the Edison neighborhood. Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers 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 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 says it’s been at least a decade since a juvenile has been charged with murder in Kalamazoo County.
The prosecution said before the crime occurred comments were made that “he (Garay) was going to or they were going to kill someone.”
The prosecution says Day was killed by a shot fired from a shotgun and Garay was seen carrying a long gun.
Garay’s mother sat in court next to his attorney with a Spanish translator. The prosecution requested that bond be denied saying Garay was a flight risk. Kalamazoo Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Stien 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 his neighborhood where he lives. He said in court he is more interested in Garay’s safety right now.
18-year-old Rashad Perez and 23-year-old Octavius Snell are expected to be charged later this afternoon, with open murder, felony firearm and conspiracy to commit murder.
All of the suspects face life in prison if convicted.