Murder charges downgraded in Hanover teen’s death

Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-08 19:40:16-05

Today, a court hearing today for the three juveniles charged in the connection to the death of Hanover teenager Jyreffe Clark.

The charges against Frank Robertson, III,  the alleged triggerman in the shooting of  Clark have been downgraded from first-degree murder to second-degree murder, because all parties involved agree that it was an accidental shooting.

Robertson is 17-years-old and will turn 18 on May 17. He is due back in court at 9 a.m. on May 9.

According to John Luxton, Robertson’s attorney, Robertson has been charged as an adult.

One of the juveniles charged with being an accessory after the fact has been sentenced to 12 months in juvenile detention with 6 months suspended and credit for the 3 months served. He is appealing the conviction.

The other juvenile charged with accessory after the fact pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty by the judge.

He will be sentenced at 10 a.m. on April 5. He was being held on $5,000 bond, and the defense asked for bond to be reduced, and that request was denied.

Lawyer Willis Robertson told CBS 6 that “the boys were tearful and remorseful in court.”

They said they tried to hide the body of the victim because they knew the mother would soon return.

In December, John Luxton, attorney for Robertson, outlined for the judge what he believes happened inside his client’s home last December.

He said that the four teens were re-creating a video, and got a semi-automatic handgun from another room, and un-loaded it.

They then proceeded to shoot the video.

“They were going to the next part of the video, in another room to do it,” said Luxton.

“The gun was given to my client, and he’s never handled a gun or anything–and he’s, they’re all excited with the music going on–and accidently it goes off,” said Luxton.

In an earlier interview with Jyreffe’s mother, Patricia Sands, said the trial will determine if it was an accident or if her son was intentionally murdered.

While she said she can come to accept the outcome of the trial, it’s what happened after the shooting that she can’t forget or forgive.

“If it was an accident, I have no choice but to accept that,” she said. “But to drag his body, throw him up against a fence like he’s a piece of paper, that’s what I have a problem with,” she said in an earlier interview.