NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After spending more than a month by their loved one’s side in the hospital, Dorthy White and her family packed Juvenile Court Tuesday (May 7), eager to know more about the teen accused of shooting their loved one, Darrelle, in March in New Orleans East. The bullet entered Darrelle’s spine, paralyzing him from the waist down.
“You changed his life. This is a young man that worked very hard. He’s very much loved by his teachers and principal. It’s just changed everything,” White said.
Once in court, Darrelle’s family found out that the shooting suspect, Lynell Reynolds, is just 13 years old.
“It’s just disbelief. I have grandkids that are 12, and he should be riding bikes, going to school and playing video games. I just can’t imagine,” White said.
In Darrelle’s case, Reynolds is charged with attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and being a juvenile in possession of a gun.
Judge Candice Anderson told the court she was forced to appoint a guardian for Reynolds because his aunt, who he claimed to live with, refused to show up in court.
It turns out, Reynolds faces even more charges. He is accused in another shooting that took place just three days before Darrelle was shot. That victim’s family was in court, too.
“It’s just heartbreaking. It’s sad that they don’t have the proper guidance they need,” said Keyna Esteen.
Reynolds is charged with shooting Esteen’s 16-year-old son in the leg. While he’s recovering, the two victims’ families met Tuesday for the first time, and Esteen learned that Darrelle will have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
“It’s just heartbreaking because that could have been my child. When my baby got up and fixed his tie to come to court, I told him he looked nice. He said, ‘But, this occasion momma.’ I said, 'You could have been dead‚ though,’” Esteen said.
Esteen said juvenile crime is out of control. She pointed out that no one even showed up for Reynolds, whom she believes needs serious help.
“These kids just don’t have nobody. If he gets out now, he’s guaranteed to take a life because it will simply be a pat of the hand,” Esteen said.
“He needs to be incarcerated because if you let him out, he’s coming back again. He did a crime with a gun, and three days later, he came back and shot my grandson. I’m sorry, but what about us and what we have to go through?” White said.
Lynell Reynolds is facing even more charges. He’s set to go to trial in June for three other cases involving other crimes and other victims.