Witness emerges in case of shooting that killed 12-year-old

Posted: Updated:
MINEOLA -

The man accused of killing a 12-year-old Hempstead girl by firing a bullet into her home appeared in court Monday for a pre-trial hearing, and new information on a witness in the case was revealed.

Jakwan Keller is charged with murder in the drive-by shooting that killed Dejah Joyner nearly two years ago. The child was sitting with her family when she was struck by the bullet that ended her young life.

Police say Keller is a member of the Bloods gang who fired the shot in retaliation for a stolen Hoverboard. Keller has pleaded not guilty.

At Monday's hearing, it emerged for the first time that police have a witness who will testify, if the case goes to trial, that he saw Keller pull the trigger.

Keller's defense attorney sought to cast doubt on the witness's claim and inferred that police had coerced it out him.

The judge is expected to hear more evidence Tuesday before deciding whether the witness's testimony is admissible.

Keller's father was in court for the hearing. He has maintained that his son is innocent.

Joyner's family did not want to talk on camera, but told News 12 that they pray every day for justice.

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