The teen appeared in front of Judge Anthony Capizzi on charges of reckless homicide. He will be released from juvenile detention to his grandmother later in the day, but will be subject to electronic home monitoring.
The case will be reviewed by a prosecutor's office panel later in the week.
The teen is accused in the shooting death of two-year-old Jvontae Johnston June 4 on Wheeler Avenue in Harrison Twp.
Johnston's father, Jamahl Evans is facing federal charges after he was arrested in the hours after the shooting.
Two-year-old Jvontae Johnston was fatally shot by his 13-year-old brother who was playing with a gun when it accidentally discharged, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.
The 12-year-old sister of Jvontae (Jay-vee-On-tay) Johnston said the 2-year-old was always having fun.
“He was playful, he loved ... balloons, SpongeBob and Barney,” said Krislanae Johnston, who said she thought he really would have liked school once he was old enough.
Known by nicknames including JV, motorman and biscuit, the 2-year-old also was strong and maybe could have become a star athlete, a wrestler or football player, his sister said.
Two-year-old Jvontae Johnston died from a gunshot wound after a gun his 13-year-old brother was playing with accidentally discharged, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said in a press conference Tuesday.
The 13-year-old is facing a reckless homicide charge in Montgomery County Juvenile Court, according to officials.
The teen appeared before a magistrate in juvenile court Tuesday afternoon and had a plea of denial entered on his behalf. He will be appointed an attorney and has been ordered to stay in juvenile detention.
His next court date is June 12 in front of Judge Anthony Capizzi.
Plummer said Johnston’s father Jamahl Evans, 34, was operating a drug operation out of the house in the 2500 block of Wheeler Avenue. Investigators recovered two handguns, marijuana ready for distribution, and other items used in drug distribution, Plummer said.
“It’s unfortunate because (Evans) is a convicted felon and shouldn’t have a gun at all,” Plummer said. “But if you’re in the drug trade and you’re dealing with drugs and cash, unfortunately they all have guns to protect themselves.”
Plummer said investigators first believed Johnston was playing with the gun and shot himself, but the investigation later found the 13-year-old was the one with the gun.
Plummer said Evans appeared to only be a marijuana dealer, and often marijuana dealers fly under their radar due to resources tied up fighting opioid dealers.
“Everyone says (marijuana dealing) a victim-less crime, well it’s not. We’ve had several people die selling marijuana,” Plummer said.
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