PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria man, arrested in connection to the murder of a 15-year-old boy, made his first appearance before a judge on Wednesday.
Erick D. Jackson, 18, received a $1.5 million bond during his hearing.
Jackson was arrested on Monday, Nov. 14, and charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of 15-year-old Merian Smith.
Peoria police said Smith was shot on Nov. 7 in the 500 block of W. Gift. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood announced two days later that Smith died.
Prosecutors revealed in court that Smith had a bullet wound in his head.
During Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors also said surveillance footage captured video of three men hanging around a garage in the area just before the shooting, with the video showing one man touching the garage.
Police were able to match the prints to Jackson and eventually obtained a search warrant for Jackson’s residence. Prosecutors said police then found one of the guns inside Jackson’s residence that matched shell casings found at the scene of the shooting.
They said there were at least two guns used in the shooting, indicating the possibility of another shooter. Prosecutors said once arrested, Jackson initially denied being at the scene but later admitted that he was there after police mentioned the video and the fingerprints.
They said Jackson denied actually shooting anyone but said he could not explain why he had the gun in his residence.
Jackson’s public defender argued it still hasn’t been proven that the gun used to cause any injuries or death belonged to Jackson since there was another gun used.
Judge Albert Purham eventually decided on Jackson’s bond after taking the severity of the crime and his lack of criminal history into account.
He’s due back in court on Dec. 15.