A Hamilton teen will be tried as an adult in the shooting death of Shon Walker in Hamilton this summer.
An attorney for Michael Smith Jr., 17, who is charged with murder and tampering with evidence, told Butler County Juvenile Judge Ronald Craft on Wednesday during a brief hearing that the teen would waive his right to a probable cause hearing, sending the case straight to the common pleas general division for consideration by a grand jury.
The case is a mandatory bind-over to adult court because of the age of the defendant and the severity of the alleged crime.
Smith told the judge he understood he was giving up his right to a probable cause hearing but said nothing else in the courtroom. He turned to look at his family briefly before being led away in handcuffs and leg irons.
According to prosecutors, Smith shot Walker multiple times on June 27, then concealed the weapon in his clothing and put it in the sewer. The shooting was caught on video, and a witness identified Smith as the person who pulled the trigger.
Craft set Smith’s bond at $1 million and ordered that he be transferred from the county juvenile detention center to the Butler County Jail, noting “there is great concern about his conduct while at JDC.”
Smith was arrested July 11, and the judge said during his time at JDC, the teen has been involved in a fight and making inappropriate comments to staff.
“Comments the court would perceive to be a threat to the facility,” Craft said.
The accused teen has been incarcerated in the Juvenile Detention Center three times previously, according to juvenile court records.
In September 2015, he was arrested by Hamilton police for inducing panic and three counts of assault. He spent two months in JDC, was placed on house arrest and was ordered to serve 40 hours in the work program, have no weapons of any kind and write an apology letter. He was also was placed on probation and ordered to undergo counseling. An Airsoft gun was used in the offense.
The teen was charged in August 2018 with aggravated menacing by Hamilton police. The charge was amended to disorderly conduct. He spent about 30 day in JDC, and he was placed on home incarceration and ordered to complete 20 hours of the work program.
In November 2018, the teen had a probation violation and was again placed on home incarceration. In December 2018, he was charged with a curfew violation and served another 30 days in JDC. He was also ordered to continue counseling, complete 20 hours of a work program and was given a 6 p.m. curfew.
In June, the teen also violated probation and was ordered to complete another 12 hours in the work program. He was taken into custody on July 9 on another probation violation and charged with murder two days later.
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