Montgomery County police charged two teenagers with murder and assault last night in connection with last Friday's beating death of a 16-year-old John F. Kennedy High School sophomore, police said.
Jelani D. Parker, 16, and George H. Haddad, 19, are charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the slaying of Malik D. McCoy, police said.
Parker, of Silver Spring, was charged as an adult. He was being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center last night on $250,000 bond. Bond information on Haddad, of Germantown, was not immediately available.
McCoy, of the 4000 block of Chesterwood Drive, died of blunt-force injuries to his head after he was beaten last Friday near an apartment complex in the 14000 block of Valleyfield Drive in the Longmead Crossing neighborhood, police said.
Parker's stepfather, Ronnie Wilson, 37, said last night that the youth "was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"He doesn't ever get in trouble," Wilson said.
The maximum penalty for second-degree murder is 30 years in prison. For second-degree assault, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Police said they expect additional arrests.
According to charging documents filed last night in Montgomery County District Court, Parker, a sophomore at Kennedy, and McCoy had a dispute last Friday at school, and Parker and another person arrived at an apartment where McCoy was visiting a friend about 10:30 that night. Parker asked McCoy to come outside to fight, court documents state.
Police have said as many as half a dozen people were involved in beating McCoy.
McCoy was the second Maryland teenager in the span of five days to die after being beaten by youths.
On May 30, Michael A. Bassett, 18, of Oxon Hill died after several youths attacked him outside a 7-Eleven in Suitland. He was hit by two cars after being left unconscious in the road, police said.
A Prince George's County grand jury yesterday indicted Emmanuel McClain, 16, on murder and other charges in connection with Bassett's death.
James Jarrell White, 18, of Southeast Washington has also been charged with murder in the case.
The neighborhood where McCoy died, a collection of townhouses and apartment complexes off Norbeck Road, has been rattled by his death, neighbors said.
"You feel so helpless, you know, when you're right here where it happened," said Rudolph Scipio, 72, whose home overlooks the grassy space where McCoy died. "You feel responsible for people that come to your complex, to your home."
McCoy and his family moved to Silver Spring from Detroit in the summer of 2002. Friends of Jamila McCoy, the slain youth's sister, said she told them that the family moved to Montgomery because they believed it was a safer place than Detroit.
In a brief interview this week outside the family's Silver Spring townhouse, Jamila McCoy said her mother, Stephanie, works for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the field of AIDS care. Her father, Steve, is the executive director of a community development organization in Washington and worked as a police officer in the District in the early 1970s. He declined to comment.
Malik McCoy was a talented competitive swimmer and liked to swim the 500-meter and 200-meter freestyle, a friend said, but McCoy was not on the Kennedy swim team this year.
"I talked to him about it, and he said he didn't feel like trying out," said Alfredo Lopez, 16, a sophomore at Kennedy.
Malik McCoy was awaiting trial as an adult on armed robbery charges, stemming from a Feb. 20 incident in which police allege he and Bruno Smith, 16, wielded a knife to steal a wallet containing $8 and a cell phone from a person in a parking lot at a Kmart.
Jamila McCoy was student body president at Kennedy this year and has a commitment to attend Cornell University this fall, friends said. She had won several awards and was involved in school theater productions, according to playbills posted on Kennedy's Web site.
"She was a very popular girl," said Veronica Lopez, 18, a senior at Kennedy.
A funeral for McCoy is planned for today at noon at Mount Jezreel Baptist Church in Silver Spring.