HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – We have new developments in the case of the Hanover teen shot and killed while four friends were filming a rap video in December. All three of the teens charged in the shooting of Jyreffe Clark were in court Thursday.
Lawyers for the defendants and the Commonwealth said they're on the same page. The shooting was an accident. Admitted shooter Franklin Robertson III's first degree murder charge was reduced to second degree. The two teens charged as accessories, Michael Thompson and Laquan Tullis, will serve time for their roles.
Robertson didn't mean to shoot his friend Jyreffe Clark as the three were hanging out and shooting a rap video on December 17th. According to attorney John Luxton, that is why the first degree murder charge was reduced.
"We're getting closer and closer to hopefully a resolution and I think today the commonwealth attorney indicated that they believe and they've gone over it from all angles that it was an accident," he explained.
Thompson was sentenced to twelve months behind bars with six suspended for helping move Clark's body after he was killed. Tullis will be sentenced next month on the same accessory charge.
Still the question remained, why did they do it. One lawyer said the boys were worried about someone coming home and seeing the body.
"It's hard for everybody to understand it would have been better if they just called 911 and given their stories at that point in time but they were so concerned that no one would believe them," Luxton told us.
Because of the ages the defendants, we were not allowed inside the courtroom. We were told it was an emotional scene, as family members of all four boys were present.
Michael Thompson was out on bond. He'll have to return to serve his time, but his lawyer said he's appealing the sentencing. The other two boys are still at the juvenile detention center.
Laquan Tullis will be sentenced next month. Franklin Robertson III is back in court may 9th.