15-year-old charged with murder in shooting death

By Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter, hwinslow@wjxt.com
News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 17 2014 04:36:39 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 12:41:28 AM EDT

VIDEO: With bullets flying right outside their homes, neighbors are speaking out as police announce the arrest of three men connected to a shooting last month at Eureka Gardens apartments. One of the arrested is 15 years old.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 15-year-old is charged with murder in the shooting death of a man who was a guest at a party he wasn't invited to last month.

Andrew Parham was arrested Wednesday. Police said he shot Christopher Cornelio once in the head at Eureka Garden Apartments on the Westside just before 1 a.m. March 16. Cornelio later died at a hospital.

Police said the two men Parham was with -- Ernest Taylor, 26, and Timothy Stewart, 19 (both pictured below) -- were also arrested on illegal possession of weapons charges.

Police said the three suspects crashed the party uninvited and all armed.

"Things went downhill from there," said Adam Brown, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office chief of detectives.

Investigators didn't specify what they were after but did say they got into an argument with the man who lived there, pistol-whipped him across his eye and ear. Police said that's when Parham shot Cornelio.

Investigators said a month after the shooting, detectives gathered enough evidence to arrest Parham, charging him with murder and burglary.

Taylor was arrested March 18 on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. About a week later, Stewart was arrested on a charge of possession of a weapon by a delinquent adult felon.

"We can't make arrests in a lot of these cases without the help of the community," Brown said. "That's why I would always encourage people to call us with tips and give us information. It's very important that we have the support of the community."

Residents and neighbors of the Eureka Garden Apartments said they're tired of the violence. People who live and work in the area said things have to change.

Mona Lisa Arnold has lived in the area for eight years but wishes she lived somewhere else.

"Could somebody please give me a place to stay and help me get out of the situation that I am in?" Arnold asked. "Please help me because I feel threatened for my life, that I am going to get killed."

Arnold said she's disabled and can't afford to move. The 35-year-old also said she's a victim of the violence herself.

"They broke in my house and stole everything, and a couple of weeks ago, a couple of months ago someone tried to break in on me again and I called 911," said Arnold.

Karen Thomas holds out hope.

"You have to believe that change will come," Thomas said.

Thomas is the program director for the "Yes You" Mentoring Program for Wayman Ministries, across the street from Eureka Gardens. She said the program actively hosts events and programs for children who live there and in the nearby community, to prevent them from becoming accustomed to the environment.

"We have to stay in the kids' ear and keep encouraging them," Thomas said. "We need to let them know that there is more outside of Eureka Gardens' walls and outside of the criminal forces that they see on an everyday basis, because our children are the future."

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