Bond set at over $2.75 million for teen accused of murder, carjacking
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The man accused of last week’s carjacking of a woman at the Costco gas station confessed to fatally shooting a 12-year-old boy in what was New Orleans’ first homicide of 2022, police said in court documents filed Monday (Feb. 7).
As first reported by Fox 8, 18-year-old Tyrese Harris was booked with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Derrick Cash. Cash emerged from a stolen car in the 14000 block of Michoud Boulevard in New Orleans East on Jan. 3 and died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds, New Orleans police said.
Harris, who was arrested Sunday and accused of the brutal Feb. 1 carjacking of realtor Kelleye Rhein at the Costco fueling station, was booked with the Cash murder and the attempted armed robbery of another man’s car from a convenience store gas station on Howard Avenue on Jan. 18.
In that failed carjacking attempt, police said Harris fired shots at the would-be victim before fleeing but dropped a cellphone at the scene that contained evidence police said linked him to the killing of Cash.
NOPD homicide detectives wrote in the affidavit that they confronted Harris with the evidence Sunday after he had been read his Miranda rights.
“During the recorded interview, Mr. Harris admitted to committing the shooting (of Cash) on Michoud Boulevard,” homicide detective Walter Edmond wrote in his sworn affidavit. “Harris stated he was armed with a .45-caliber firearm and he shot the victim several times.”
The cellphone Harris fumbled and lost during the Jan. 18 carjacking attempt also contained evidence documenting Harris’ efforts to dispose of that murder weapon, Edmond wrote.
“Harris was trying to get rid of the gun by trading it,” Edmond wrote.
Harris also was booked overnight with additional counts related to the armed carjacking attempt Jan. 18 on Howard Avenue. In that case, police allege Harris shot at a would-be victim who armed himself after Harris entered his vehicle. That victim was not injured, despite being shot at while also being refused entry into the Circle K store at 704 Howard Avenue as he tried to flee his attacker.
The victim “fled to the front door of the convenience store and begged the staff to let him in, but they refused to open,” NOPD detective Roshain Mitchell wrote in that affidavit, in support of booking Harris with attempted armed robbery, attempted armed robbery with a firearm, illegal use of a weapon, illegal carrying of weapons and aggravated criminal damage to property.
Both the Cash murder and the two carjackings of which Harris is accused occurred after District Attorney Jason Williams’ office declined to prosecute Harris on an armed robbery arrest submitted by the NOPD last September. Court records show the DA’s office refused the armed robbery count on Nov. 10.
The court documents also suggest that a different attempted carjacking at the Costco gas station the night before Rhein was injured might also have involved Harris. A dashcam video that captured the Jan. 31 attempt at Costco showed someone wearing the same clothes police believe Harris wore the next day when he stole Rhein’s vehicle, and said he emerged from the same white Nissan Pathfinder used as a getaway vehicle. That attempt was thwarted when the woman pumping gas noticed and confronted an assailant before he was able to climb into the driver’s seat of her vehicle.
A magistrate court commissioner set Harris’ bond Monday at $2.76 million:
- One count second-degree murder: $2 million
- One count principal to carjacking: $500,000
- Two counts attempted armed robbery: $75,000 each
- One count aggravated criminal damage to property: $50,000
- One count illegal use of a weapon: $50,000
- One count illegal carrying of weapons: $10,000
Williams’ office sent a statement Monday afternoon:
“In the previous matter involving Harris, we were unable to accept charges on all counts due to an initial decision by the victim of the robbery not to participate in the post-arrest investigation. We support our victims and their wishes. We understand that victims have been traumatized in these cases; our goal is never to retraumatize them. Nonetheless, victim and witness testimony is often the lifeline of a case and, without it, we are often unable to move forward with charges. However, if a victim or witness chooses not to testify, we certainly respect their decision, and we work hard with the police, our investigators and lawyers to try and secure other evidence needed. ... Our office will not stop until Harris is held accountable.”
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