Mother: ‘Why kill my baby?’ — Man charged with murder in death of 18-year-old in stolen car
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — An 18-year-old in a stolen car, shot to death in June. The car owner’s husband, under arrest Wednesday in the shooting.
Byron Bell was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police say Bell tracked down his wife’s stolen Hyundai to the area of Laser Street and fired shots into the car.
Ja’hod Snow of Rochester is the 18-year-old who was killed. His mother Jamika Hall and his sister were emotionally distraught Wednesday. They say they understand Ja’Hod was behind the wheel of a stolen car but he didn’t deserve to lose his life.
“My child was not who they are trying to say he is!” Hall said, crying.
Marsha Augustin: Police say your son was found dead behind the wheel of a stolen car?
Jamika Hall: I want people to understand, no, it’s not right, I’m not condoning these kids out here stealing people’s stuff. It’s not right. But a piece of machine over my child’s life — you had a GPS, you could’ve called the police. Like I’m not understanding, why kill my baby?”
Police say Bell, the husband of the car’s owner, used a GPS device to track the vehicle to Laser Street. Police say he approached the car and fired multiple shots inside. Police said the other people in the vehicle were not hit and ran off.
The shooting happened during the height of the car-theft epidemic. On the day of Snow’s death, frustrated police said they feared something like this would happen.
“The criminal justice system, family court, they need to wake up and they need to start doing something so we’re not sitting here at 6 o’clock in the morning with dead 17- and 18-year-old kids in stolen cars,” Cpt. Frank Umbrino of the Rochester Police Department said.
But Jamika Hall says what police weren’t aware of were her son’s positive qualities. She says he graduated early from high school with honors. Now all she has left of him is memories, worn on the shirt he was wearing.
“Very respectful young man. Like, very respectful. The type to help an old lady across the street, carry her groceries. Like he was just a great kid all around. He got mixed up in the wrong crowd and got lost out here,” she said.
For Dishawna Maya, Snow’s little sister, the way her brother died had her fighting back tears.
“You don’t know what I would give right now for him to be yelling at me,” she said.
Hall says she wants justice for her son.
“You can replace a car, but you can’t get a life back,” she said.
She said her message to the kids stealing cars is to simply stop — it’s not worth losing your life.
Bell will be arraigned in Rochester City Court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.