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Seventh Teen Dies, As PGPD Charges Five In Death Of Charles Walker Jr.

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Five suspects charged in connection with the murder of Charles Walker Jr.
Prince George’s County Police Department
Five suspects charged in connection with the murder of Charles Walker Jr.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw announced the arrest five suspects charged in connection with the murder of Suitland High School freshman Charles Walker Jr. The teenager was shot and killed on Feb. 18, in Hillcrest Heights.

Magaw was upbeat late Wednesday when he identified the suspects at a press conference, who stand accused of shooting the 15-year-old for his shoes.

"I'm pleased to be able to tell you today that case is closed with five arrests," Magaw said. "All five defendants have been charged with murder in the case of Charles Walker."

Investigative developments, along with tips called into Crimes Solvers, led detectives to develop the five suspects. All of the suspects are in custody — three are in Prince George's County and two in the District of Columbia. All five are charged with first degree murder.

They are identified as Derryck Antonio Green, 20, Jermani Maurice Whitner, 18, Glenn Cornell Leach, 23, Tayvon Delonte Williams, 21, and Kevin J. Smith, 21.

Seventh victim this school year

The mood changed, however, when Magaw told reporters of the death of 18-year-old Andre Walter Shuford, who was shot Tuesday afternoon in a Forestville, Md., apartment complex on the 3700 block of Donell Drive. The other 18-year-old victim, who succumbed on Tuesday, has been identified as Aaron Burrell Kidd.

The three deaths this week brings the number of murders of high school-aged young people from Prince George's County to seven in just the last five months. Walker and Kidd were both students at Suitland High School, so the pain among students there is acute.

"To tell you the truth, I don't even want to be at this school," said Antoine Hicks, a Suitland High School freshman. "Actually, I don't even want to be around this neighborhood with all this violence. I begged my mother to get us out, but times are hard, so I got to watch my little brother and sister because I still got responsibilities I gotta take care of."

Tackling systemic violence

Catherine Bradshaw is the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence. Bradshaw said not feeling safe in your environment can result in a form of post-traumatic stress syndrome and developmental problems in years to come.

"What's most troubling about that is the sense of being trapped within this environment, feeling like he doesn't have the opportunity to get out," Bradshaw said. "So in these situations, we really want to help them consider other options with other family members where they can go temporarily to feel safe in that environment."

Bradshaw also suggests that more violence prevention programs should be integrated in public schools.

Teens Killed in Prince George's County in the 2012-13 School Year
View Teens Killed in Prince George's County in a larger map
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