HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A Hyattsville teen has been convicted in the 2017 shooting death of a 14-year-old boy following a drug deal that went wrong.
Melvin Jacome, 16, was found guilty of first-degree murder and additional charges in the death of Xavier Young, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office. He is set to be sentenced on December 6.
Jacome’s conviction is in relation to an incident on Oct. 28, 2017, when officers responded to the 9000 block of North Laurel Rd. after hearing a gunshot while they were on another call.
Once they arrived, officers found Young unconscious in the street with a gunshot wound to the head. Young was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead two days later.
Howard County police detectives arrested Jacome, 16-year-old Francisco Rodriguez, and 19-year-old Luis Gerardo Ordonez in relation to Young’s murder.
During the trial, police and witnesses testified that a drug deal went awry when the seller planned to short the buyer out of marijuana, and the buyer, along with Jacome, planned to rob the seller.
The buyer and seller both brought extra man power, leading to the deal being called off.
Jacome and the buyer returned to a black sedan, where one shot was fired from an open car window as they drove away.
The seller testified that a green laser brushed across his face shortly before a shot hit his friend, Young.
The driver of the car, Rodriguez, testified that it was Jacome who fired the pistol that killed Young.
The pistol was never recovered.
Rodriguez was also initially charged with Young’s murder, but testified against Jacome after prosecutors offered him a plea deal on the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Texts from Jacome’s phone showed that he texted a friend his plans to participate in a robbery that evening, and on the morning of the shooting, he texted the same friend that he had “hit him with a hollow.”
A 21-year-old man who lived near Jacome, and who temporarily hid the murder weapon, testified that on the day after the shooting, Jacome admitted to him that “he might have killed somebody the night before.”
A jury found Jacome guilty of the first-degree murder of Young, first-degree assault on the seller of the marijuana, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a regulated firearm by someone 21, reckless endangerment from a motor vehicle, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Rodriguez is set for sentencing on October 10, while Ordonez is set to be sentenced on Oct. 18 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and a firearm charge on May 7.