14-year-old to appear in court for 13-year-old's deadly shooting at Detroit home

DETROIT – A 14-year-old boy charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of  a 13-year-old boy Monday at a home in Detroit will appear in court Friday. 

The shooting is believed to have been accidental, but two people face involuntary manslaughter charges. The 14-year-old boy's grandmother, Lise Cox, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, grossly negligent storage of a firearm resulting in death, and two counts of child abuse. Her grandsons were left home alone with the gun. She was arrested earlier this week. 

Prosecutors suggest the 14-year-old intended to aim the gun at 13-year-old Emarjae "EJ" Watkins, but he did not fire with malice. Watkins was shot in the back and died within minutes. The 8th-grade student at Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy was the captain of the Detroit City Chess Club and volunteered to help less fortunate Metro Detroit families.

"It took a big chunk out of us ... and I miss my song," said Erica King, Watkins' mother. 

Investigators believe the 14-year-old and a friend wanted to scare Watkins and allegedly got the gun from his grandmother's bedroom. Prosecutors believe the gun was hidden on the floor under a dresser, but the bedroom lock was flimsy. They also claim the grandmother was aware the boys knew where the gun was. 

The bullets were in another place in the grandmother's bedroom, but the teen knew were those were, too. Investigators say he got the gun and the bullets, then loaded the gun himself. 

The teens were at the grandmother's house Monday when almost every school district in Metro Detroit had called off classes due to the heavy snowfall. 

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About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.