August 1, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
71°F
test

Silent witnesses impede Lorain murder probe

LORAIN — Police said Thursday four men caught on a surveillance tape just after the drive-by shooting death of a Lorain teenager earlier this summer are responsible for what they’re calling a “revenge” slaying and are asking for help identifying them.

“In my opinion, there’s no doubt those people in that video are responsible for Marquis McCall’s murder,” Detective Buddy Sivert said. “Those guys are responsible and people know who they are and no one’s coming forward, so they’re just going to let people get away with murder.”

A surveillance camera recorded the image of four men walking shortly after the shooting, and police have said that while they’ve identified some of the men in the video, they haven’t identified them all.

To bolster that effort, police have sent the video for enhancement.

Police say the shooters were in a gold Ford Taurus when they fired at a group of young men that included 18-year-old McCall and 17-year-old Craig Roberson. McCall was shot in the chest and died. Roberson was struck in the leg.

The shooting happened June 22 at West 13th Street and Long Avenue.

The car has been recovered and is being processed for evidence. Sivert wouldn’t name the owner.

Sivert said the shooting was an act of territorial revenge after the shooting earlier that night of Christopher Hill, 16, of Lorain. Hill was shot in the face as the car he was in pulled away from the curb at West 18th Street and Long Avenue. He died the following day at a Cleveland hospital.

“South side versus West side,” he said. “It’s been going on for years. The boys that were walking down the street that night, McCall and the other victims, we have no information that they were involved in the Chris Hill shooting. The people in that gold Taurus were looking for anybody walking around the west side that night and they just happened upon those four to five individuals.

“Those individuals were not the target. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Sivert is urging anyone who may know the identity of the men in the video to come forward. But he’s also warning against lying to police — something three Lorain residents are thinking about behind bars.

Maurice Palmer, 19, and Jaquaya Harvey, 19, have been charged with obstructing justice for lying to police, although Sivert said he couldn’t go into specifics about what they said.

“I know they’re lying,” Sivert said. “They’ve been charged with obstructing justice, not obstructing official business, which is a misdemeanor. They’ve been charged with third-degree felonies. …We’re not going to tolerate people lying to us on such an important case.”

Bohannon Miller, 20, also was being held on a warrant for an unrelated case involving the theft of a gun out of Lorain. He, too, could be charged with obstructing justice, Sivert said.

Miller, described by Sivert as “a person of interest” in McCall’s murder, is Harvey’s boyfriend.

“We think (Miller) has information that would be important to our investigation regarding the McCall homicide,” Sivert said. “We know he does.”

Harvey knows something as well, Sivert said.

“She lied about both their activities relating to the time after the shooting,” he said, adding police have evidence to back up their certainty that Miller, Harvey and Palmer have lied.

“In my opinion, there’s no doubt all four of those people in that car knew what was going to happen, knew what they were going to do, went along with it,” Sivert said. “After the fact, they knew what happened, they knew somebody died and someone was seriously injured. They’re just as guilty as the shooter.”

Sivert would not say whether the suspects in McCall’s murder were friends or relatives of Hill.

Meanwhile, Detective Steyven Curry, who is investigating the shooting of Hill, wouldn’t discuss Sivert’s assertion that McCall’s murder was a revenge shooting over Hill’s death.

Curry said he’d like to see more cooperation from witnesses who were in the car with Hill when he was shot and from other people who were in the area during that shooting.

“What I need right now is anybody coming forward with information — someone willing to step up and do the right thing,” Curry said. “It’s a shame that Chris’ friends in the vehicle with him don’t have the courage to honor Chris Hill’s death by doing the right thing by saying exactly what they know and saw.”

Information on the guns used in the shootings is still not being released.

Police continue to offer a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murders. Detectives can be contacted at (440) 204-2105.

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.