Teen Charged In 14-Year-Old's Killing

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:32:35 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 18 2010 06:09:03 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Nearly three weeks after 14-year-old Horace James Jr. was killed and two girls were injured after leaving a teen party at an Arlington nightclub, police arrested an 18-year-old on charges of murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a felon and shooting into an occupied building.

Jeremiah Corbett, 18, was arrested Friday afternoon and ordered held without bond after appearing before a judge Saturday morning. Channel 4 was told there was an argument in the courtroom and police had to separate the Corbett and James families.

According to the police report, eyewitnesses identified Corbett as one of four people in a van from which shots were fired into a crowded parking lot on University Boulevard North and toward the Club Menage nightclub on Sept. 25.

Police said the people in the van drove over to the parking lot of a Walgreens store and began arguing with other people in the parking lot when Corbett began shooting.

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Police said Corbett missed his intended target, but bullets struck James and Alexis Johnson, 17. A 12-year-old girl was injured by flying glass.

Police said witnesses identified the vehicle used, which they traced to Raphael Thompson, 19, who was charged late last month with accessory after the fact. According to Corbett's arrest report, Thompson and 20-year-old Bryant Smith named Corbett as the shooter.

"The witnesses at the scene gave the detectives the lead that led them to the van," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Larry Schmitt said. "Without them coming forward, it would have been nearly impossible for detectives to locate that van."

James' family had always believed that Horace was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The police report said Corbett denied the shooting and denied knowing either Thompson or Smith.

Even though Corbett is now in jail, James' family said it will not rest until justice is served.

"You didn't get the people you were trying to shoot, but you got innocent people that you didn't even know, people you never even met in your life," said Leon Romer, James' stepfather. "May God be with you."

According to court records, Corbett had several arrests as a juvenile, including a conviction for sale of cocaine in 2006.

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