Savannah teen, admitted gang member faces judge over probation violations

Teen involved in September 17 shooting remains in custody due to probation violations (Credit: Robert Catanese)

On Friday, an admitted 1100 gang member faced Juvenile Court Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert on numerous probation violations stemming from a Sept. 17 shooting that claimed the life of 16 year-old Jaheim Morris.

The teen sat quietly during the proceedings next to his mother and attorney Charles Loncon.

“This child had been caught up in certain of the violence that has been going on here in Savannah,” said Loncon.

This juvenile is no stranger to the police or juvenile court.

Court documents obtained by Fox 28, reveal a violent past dating back to Feb. 2015. Charges during that time include but not limited to Possession of a Firearm during the commission of a Felony, Aggravated Assault, Theft by Receiving and Misdemeanor Battery.

Assistant District Attorney Kim Rowden argued that the teen violated his probation on numerous counts.

She called SCMPD Detectives Robert Santoro and Detective Zachary Burdette both provided testimony on Friday.

Burdette said the defendant told him he was a member of the 1100 gang and that there was an ongoing feud with rival OTM gang, played out by the shooting that took place the morning of Sept. 17.

Detective Santoro bolstered the prosecution’s case by testifying the teen took his mother’s car, the car in which Morris was shot and soon after driven to Memorial Hospital.

Rowden went on to say that was in clear violation of the defendant’s probation conditions.

Juvenile Court Probation Officer William Sanders also testified stating the teen was in violation of house arrest, did not maintain his electronic monitoring device and did not follow the direction of his custodian, the mother.

Marcus Scott also testified, he is a representative of the Savannah-Chatham School’s Building Bridges initiative. He stated the teen displayed gang activity, gang signs and hand gestures during school attendance.

“There are allegations of gang activity being involved in as such between the gangs this child is known and has been under threat,” said Loncon.

Judge Colbert ordered a clinical evaluation to be performed by Georgia Regional.

“The state law requires due to the level and severity of the delinquent act he admitted to perpetrating before it is a requirement under the juvenile code that a forensic study be conducted before disposition,” said Loncon.

The teens probation officer recommended he remain detained and was taken from court after the Judge Colbert agreed.

“The court will consider the results of that forensic study in determining the appropriate punishment,” said Loncon.

According to his attorney, the defendant now faces an uncertain future.

“He can be committed to the state for up to five years and it could be all detention, it could be a mixture of detention and probation. That is really what the court is waiting to determine based on the outcome of this forensic study,” said Loncon.

A Status Conference was scheduled in this case for Nov. 1.

The juvenile is not being detained in Chatham County for his own safety.

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