Teen faces murder charge after sister's shooting death

Published: May. 5, 2014 at 5:06 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2014 at 9:43 PM CDT
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Memphis police homicide investigators confirm the charges against the 13-year-old have been...
Memphis police homicide investigators confirm the charges against the 13-year-old have been upgraded to second-degree murder.

(WMC) - Two days after 10-year-old Denii Compton was buried, charges against her brother were upgraded. WMC Action News 5 learned the family has been through this before.

The girl's 13-year-old brother is now charged with second-degree murder, in addition to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

He remains locked up in juvenile court custody without bond.

WMC Action News 5's Nick Kenney spoke with his defense attorney, Rob Gowen, who says he does not agree with the upgraded charge and worries it might be a way for prosecutors to get the teen transferred to adult court.

Gowen says the teen is one of a dozen siblings. He says the family went through this 13 years ago when one of his older brothers shot one of his older sisters in the forehead.

WMC Action News 5 dug up an old Memphis police report from March 23, 2001.

According to the narrative, the kids had been suspended from school and were staying with a grandmother.

The brother found a gun, which went off when he tried to remove the bullet from the chamber.

The girl survived and told investigators the shooting was an accident. Her brother was charged and adjudicated in juvenile court; he served probation.

Gowen says he believes his client's case should remain in juvenile court, too.

MPD Director Toney Armstrong vowed investigators would look into the parents. MPD says no adults have been charged in this case at this point.

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