Man pleads not guilty of killing 18-year-old in stolen car in Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Byron Bell, the man accused of killing an 18-year-old who was driving a stolen car on Rochester’s north side, pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

Rochester Police say Bell tracked down his wife’s stolen car using its GPS in June and killed the driver, Ja’hod Snow, with an illegal gun. Snow’s mother spoke with News10NBC, saying that her son was a bright student who graduated with honors and that her son didn’t deserve to die.

Bell, 37, is charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. His case was recalled on Thursday morning due to a conflict of interest with the Public Defenders Office.

An attorney from the Assigned Council Program stood in to represent Bell only for the arraignment. He’s due back in court on Friday at 2 p.m. to be assigned an attorney moving forward. His preliminary hearing is set for Monday at 2 p.m.

Officers say they found Snow with a gunshot wound to the torso after the stolen Hyundai he was driving crashed around Joseph Avenue and Laser Street. RPD was called to the area around 6 a.m. after getting reports of gunfire.

Snow was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. Investigators say the owner of the vehicle woke up around 5:30 a.m. and discovered her car had been stolen overnight. According to RPD, her husband tracked her car down and killed Snow with a 9mm handgun. Snow was in the driver’s seat and RPD says other people in the car, who were not hit, ran away.

The U.S. Marshals Violent Felony Fugitive Task Force and the RPD’s Tactical Unit took Bell into custody on Wednesday morning.