Man pleads not guilty to fatally shooting teen caught in wife’s stolen car

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The man accused of tracking down and killing a teenager behind the wheel of his wife’s stolen care pleaded not guilty Thursday in court.

Byron Bell has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

MORE: Mother: ‘Why kill my baby?’ — Man charged with murder in death of 18-year-old in stolen car

He was arrested Wednesday, charged with murdering Ja’hod Snow while illegally possessing a handgun.

Early in the morning of June 27th, police say the 37-year-old Bell was out looking for his wife’s stolen Hyundai Tucson equipped with a GPS tracking device. They say Bell found the SUV on Laser Street with Ja’hod behind the wheel. Police say he tried to drive away by putting the car in revers and that’s when Bell fired three shots, hitting Ja’hod once in the torso. The other people in the car fled.

A nearby ShotSpotter detected the gunfire.

Two minutes later, a call came in to 911 for a car crash. Police arrived soon after.

“RPD let my 18-year-old son lay up there and die. They waited 20 minutes before they called the ambulance. It took them seven minutes to get there,” Jamika Hall said.

News10NBC asked police about Hall’s clams. They tell us that two minutes after arriving, officers were giving Ja’hod CPR and trying to save his life and that an ambulance was on scene about seven minutes after the first officer arrived.

“He graduated six months early just to die,” Marcell Colbert, Ja’hod’s grandmother, said.

His family remembers Ja’hod as helpful, respectful, and bright.

“What can we feel? I don’t feel nothing,” Colbert said. “You want to know how I feel? ‘Cause no matter what they do, they can’t give me what I want, and that’s my grandson.”

For now, she’s satisfied someone is being held accountable for his death.

“My grandson wants justice. He comes from me, and I’m making sure he gets it,” she said.

Ja’hod’s death came during a rash of car thefts across the city. News10NBC asked Mayor Malik Evans about the allegations that Bell committed vigilante justice.

“Cars can be replaced. Humans can not be, but this is one of the dangers of the stolen car instances that we’ve seen in our community. This is not the first time someone has been shot in a stolen car. It is sad that it has resulted in a tragedy,” he said.

Bell will be back in court on Friday where he’ll be assigned an attorney.