PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Family members and activists continue to push for harsher punishment for a teen charged in the death of 18-year-old Dontae McKenith.
Marie McBride, Dontae McKenith’s mother, said: “I’ve just been insulted.
McBride feels like justice is not being served her son, who was shot dead in McKeesport in July 2021. His family is pushing for harsher punishment for 16-year-old Phillip Payne when He was arrested in connection with the shooting.
Take Action Mon Valley, an anti-violence and anti-racism nonprofit, showed support for the McKenith family during a seminar about the situation in a courtroom in Allegheny County Court on Monday morning. They left disappointed because the case was postponed at the request of the defense attorney. The District Attorney’s Office says the new date is May 12.
“I had to sit here and wait and see what would happen and be uncertain and not have a clear view of what was going to happen. This boy had the ability to kill my son,” McBride said.
Police said in July 2021 they found evidence that the two were handling a handgun when Payne pointed it at McKenith and shot him. They said Payne ran away from the scene and then turned around on his own.
READ MORE: Family, activists say race leads to light sentence in teen shooting death
A murder charge against Payne was withdrawn in August 2021. The DA’s office said the charges Payne is still facing include third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and two gun violations. .
McKenith’s loved ones and activists believe the case is being ignored because of race. They said they were afraid Payne would do little time.
“They need to look at gun accusations, they need to make sure they are defending the victim. Dontae is the victim but has a lot of anxiety for Philip, saying ‘it was an accident’ and ‘we wanted to give him three months to think about it.’ But he’s alive after being put under house arrest and Dontae is dead,” said Take Action Mon Valley CEO Fawn Walker-Montgomery.
Their hope was that the case would turn out differently.
“If this happens with a jury trial, instead of a jury trial, I want them to go back and look at the evidence, referencing everyone,” McBride said.
MORE NEWS: Police: 16-year-old arrested for fatally shooting 18-year-old in McKeesport
“This is not justice. We will continue to say it from the mountains. We still need people to call the DA, the county sheriff and the DA office needs to listen to the family here,” Walker-Montgomery said.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/03/14/jury-trial-teen-charged-with-killing-dontae-mckenith/ Jury trial adjourned for teen accused of Dontae McKenith murder – CBS Pittsburgh