The family of a Frederick teenager arrested in a prom afterparty shooting that left one dead is disputing his involvement in the killing.
Tiffany Davis, mother of Ean Lanell Davis-Lattimore, questions officials’ claims that her son caused the May 13 death of Genesis Marie McCarter-Berretto.
“Ean would never do anything like that,” Davis said. “He wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
Davis-Lattimore, 17, has been held without bail since police charged him May 14 with first-degree murder.
Police and prosecutors accuse Davis-Lattimore of firing gunshots that killed McCarter-Berretto, 18, and injured another teen outside a Frederick High School after-prom party on Weybridge Road.
Police say the shooting occurred after a fight broke out in the early hours of May 13. Witnesses told police a man matching Davis-Lattimore’s description fired a gun toward the house, according to charging documents.
A Frederick County judge ordered Davis-Lattimore held without bail on May 14.
District Judge Dino Flores granted Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Jung’s request to postpone Davis-Lattimore’s preliminary hearing Tuesday. The hearing would have been Davis-Lattimore’s chance to challenge the state’s probable cause for charging him.
Prosecutors requested time to present the case to a grand jury on Friday, according to court documents.
Representing Davis-Lattimore, attorney Matthew Frawley of the Office of the Frederick County Public Defender opposed postponing the hearing.
Police rushed through charging Davis-Lattimore, Frawley said, and there is reason to believe the teen did not kill McCarter-Berretto.
”The only discovery I’ve received is the statement of charges,” Frawley said later Tuesday. Those police documents state that “a male” was shooting toward the house. “It doesn’t identify witnesses who identify [Davis-Lattimore],” Frawley said.
The charging documents also state Davis-Lattimore admitted to police that he was involved in the shooting. But police should not have interviewed Davis-Lattimore without a parent or attorney present, Frawley said.
“They knew he was a juvenile, and he should have had counsel or a parent present during questioning,” Frawley said.
Police believe it was correct to arrest Davis-Lattimore, said Lt. Kirk Henneberry, spokesman for the Frederick Police Department. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses and looking into potential accomplices, Henneberry said.
Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said his office is confident in the probable cause for charging Davis-Lattimore.
“We’re continuing to follow up all available leads,” Smith said. “It’s just taking time [to] ensure the integrity of the investigation. ... You can’t interview dozens of people overnight.”
The state’s attorney’s office also believes police were not wrong to question Davis-Lattimore, Smith said.
Davis said she is determined to prove her son’s innocence. She has interviewed witnesses as part of her own investigation of the events of May 13.
“I feel sorry for all the children who were involved. I feel terribly for [McCarter-Berretto’s] family,” Davis said. “I know that my son is innocent.”