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Teen certified to stand trial as adult in murder case

Teen certified to stand trial as adult in murder case

January 10th, 2019 by News Tribune in Local News

Jahuan Whirley

A 16-year-old Jefferson City boy has been certified as an adult and charged in connection with a December murder in the Capital City.

Cole County Associate Circuit Judge Cotton Walker certified Jahuan Whirley following a Thursday morning hearing, charging him as an adult under a state law that allows an adult second-degree murder charge for a "child between the ages of 12 and 17 (who) has committed an offense which would be considered a felony if committed by an adult."

Whirley is charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action.

Whirley had been detained in connection with the Dec. 12 shooting that killed Justin Kammerich, 33. Another man, a 20-year-old Jefferson City resident, was injured in the shooting, but authorities never identified him as a matter of protecting his safety.

Responding officers found the two men near the parking lot of an apartment complex along West Atchison Street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Witnesses told investigators the two were standing and talking to each other when they were shot by an unknown assailant who fled the area on foot.

Kammerich succumbed to his injuries after he was taken to University Hospital in Columbia.

The surviving victim told police Whirley, armed with a Glock pistol, approached him and Kammerich and told them to give him their money, wallet and phones. Prior to their complying with the demands, the victim said, Whirley shot him and Kammerich and fled.

The victim provided a physical and clothing description of Whirley. A witness provided a description of Whirley that matched what the victim gave.

A day after the shooting, a witness called 911 saying Whirley was at his door wanting his cellphone. He told the witness he had lost his phone after the shooting and believed it was inside the witness' residence.

Officers went to the witness' residence and talked with Whirley, who said he was inside his residence, near where the shooting occurred, and heard the gunshots the previous night. He said he walked to the crime scene to see what had happened and lost his phone while walking. Whirley provided a description of what he was wearing the night of the shooting, which matched what the victim and witness had provided.

Authorities searched Whirley's residence and found a bag with a Glock pistol in the basement. The pistol was the same caliber as the spent shell casings located at the crime scene. They also found ammunition and a picture identification card for Whirley.

The Missouri Highway Patrol Lab compared the spent casings seized at the crime scene to the pistol found at Whirley's residence and determined the casings had been fired from that pistol.