Mobile, Ala. (WALA) — A 13-year-old boy shot to death in October told the Department of Human Resources he didn’t feel safe at home, a police investigator testified Tuesday.
Kenneth Gillespie testified that Jamil Autry told investigators his mother used guns and had no food or water at their home on Jones Lane in the Plateau community, according to a report from the agency in Sgt. March. The department placed the boy with a relative, but he was back with his mother at the time of the Oct. 3 shooting.
Mobile County District Judge Zachary Moore determined that prosecutors had enough evidence to send Glenda Marie Agee, 54, to a grand jury for negligent homicide. He revoked her bond from a previous incident in January, when authorities accused her of leading a police chase that injured a Pritchard officer.
Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Walsh said it was unclear when Jameel returned to his mother’s home.
The defendant’s sister, Gwendolyn Payne, disputed that account. She said outside the court that she got the child because of problems at home. But they added that there was no formal order to expel him and that he loves his mother.
“Basically, you have to fight Jamil,” she said. “Jamil wants to go back to his mother. … He always lives with his mother.
Defense attorney Glenn Davidson argued that the charge of negligent homicide was not appropriate to the facts because that charge applies in cases where someone causes the death of multiple, unspecified people. He gave an example of someone firing into a crowd. He also argued that the facts do not support the conclusion that Aji tried to hurt his son.
“There is no evidence of ongoing issues between her and her son,” he said. “There is no intention. … For all we know here today, this event could have been accidental.”
Gillespie’s testimony paints a picture of a troubled woman who, neighbors say, abused guns, drugs and alcohol. Agee has an arrest record dating back to the 1990s. Mobile police said they responded to their home 34 times in the past two years.
Gillespie testified that a neighbor called 911 on Oct. 3 to report that her son had been shot after Agee knocked on her window.
Agee initially denied guilt, telling police her son frequently got into fights at school and other students fired guns in the neighborhood, detectives said. She said she did not know how he got the gunshot wound.
Later, Gillespie testified, AG changed his story and told investigators he was getting into the bathtub when the gun went off when he put it down. He testified that police found a bullet hole in the wall between the bathroom and the child’s bedroom. He said the boy was asleep at the time and the .380 caliber bullet went through his back and exited his chest. That assessment, based on an autopsy, contradicted investigators’ previous belief that the bullet had entered the chest.
A few days later, a girl next door found the gun in her backyard, Gillespie testified. He said the gun matched a .380-caliber shell casing found inside Agee’s home.
Gillespie testified that Jameel’s father, who was not home at the time, told police that Agee shot him during a fight five years ago.
“She always has a gun,” the detective quoted the man as saying. “She always plays with guns. While she is drinking and suing for drugs, she is very uncomfortable with the use of guns.
Confronted with the accusation, Agee admitted to shooting her boyfriend, but told investigators it went away when an argument broke out over it, Gillespie testified.
At one point, Aji’s boyfriend told the police that he picked up a 9mm Cobra pistol and threw it in the bushes as he was playing.
Payne, the defendant’s sister, accused authorities of lying about Agee.
“They knew it was an accident,” she said outside the courtroom. “The detective told us it was an accident.”
Payne suggested the sister had good reason to be armed in a dangerous neighborhood.
“Her door wasn’t locked. Everyone knows that,” she said. “I’m so tired of all this mess. And I want the truth to come out. They’re trying to make my sister out to be a bad person. She’s not.”
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