At the tender age of 6, most of us were still putting school glue on our hands and peeling it off for fun. Most of us were enjoying peanut butter cookies with applesauce during Friday's school lunch and thinking kickball should have been a "real" sport. At 6, almost none of us had seen anyone die in front of us, never actually seen a murder, been in a courtroom, let alone the witness stand. This is where the "normal" childhood ends for one young Michigan boy.
"The 6-year-old boy walked into Genesee District Court Judge Vikki Bayeh Haley's courtroom and passed two men in orange jail jumpsuits shackled with handcuffs and belly chains.
"Hi daddy," he said to one of the men before taking the witness stand in which he was barely tall enough to see over the rail.
The first-grader testified Tuesday, Oct. 17 in the preliminary exam for Damien Russell and Anthony Johnson Jr.
Russell, 25, is charged with first-degree murder, felony firearm, carrying and concealed weapon and obstruction in connection to the Aug. 25 shooting death of Tiavonni Hodo (pictured)."
"Officers were called around 3:20 p.m. Aug. 25 to the 4100 block of Keyes Street, between Moore Street and Myrtle Avenue, for a report of a shooting and found Hodo suffering from a gunshot wound.
He died the next day.
Johnson, 21, faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, accessory after the fact and two counts of felony firearm.
The soft-spoken boy told Judge Bayeh Haley that he was scared as he testified Tuesday.
"You won't get in trouble for anything you say here," the judge told him. "You're safe here."
He told the court he went to a home in Flint on Aug. 25 with his mother, father and brother.
After arriving at the home, he said his mom and brother went inside.
The boy said he was outside of a vehicle when he heard his dad arguing with someone on the other side of the vehicle.
"I heard him say, 'I want you to stop seeing my baby mama,'" the boy told the court. "He said, 'I ain't doing that. I ain't doin' that.'"
Russell pulled out a silver-and-black handgun the boy said he'd seen before, according to testimony.
"I heard a gun say 'Pow''' the boy testified, adding he saw his father with the gun.
The boy also told the court that he saw Hodo get hurt.
"Where was (Hodo) hurt?" asked Genesee County Assistant Prosecutor Lia Perryman.
The boy slowly pointed to the middle of his forehead.
He also testified that Russell and Johnson took off running after the shooting.
Attorneys for Russell and Johnson declined to comment after the hearing."
If there's ever a situation that you DON'T want to put your child in, this is definitely it! This poor baby pretty much just signed his father's good-bye papers all because his father gave him no choice. Hopefully the child's mother gets him some good psychological help. Seeing your parent murder someone, at any age, can't be good for your mental health.