Man pleads guilty in shooting death of 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden

CLAYTON, Mo. - The man accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden in Ferguson pleaded guilty Friday and was subsequently sentenced to 22 years in prison.

De' Eris Brown, of O'Fallon, Missouri, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon-shooting at a building, and two counts of armed criminal action.

On August 18, 2015, Brown fired shots into Jamyla’s home in the 9200 block of Ellison Drive. She was doing homework in her mother's bed at the time. Her mother was shot as well.

Authorities said Jamyla and her mother were not the intended targets.

"Mr. Brown believed that someone who resided in the house believed that someone had stolen some property from him," St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said.

 

Jamyla Bolden

Jamyla's mother declined to be interviewed after the proceedings. In the courtroom, she told Judge Stanley Wallach that she and her daughter will miss out on those special times in life a young lady and her family share,  like graduation and marriage.

 

“It doesn’t matter how much time they give him, it won’t bring my daughter back," said James Bolden, Jamyla’s  father.

Brown showed remorse and offered his deepest apology for the worst mistake of his life. He said he prayed for their forgiveness. James Bolden said he accepted Brown's apology but still wanted to know why it happened. He said it’s a question that has never been answered.

“I want to know. I want to know what caused the young man to do it what he did," Bolden said.

Jamyla's death sent fear across the neighborhood and traumatized countless school children; and not only those who knew her, but also those who heard about what happened to her. Her memory lives on through a playground at her former school, Koch Elementary in the Riverview Gardens School District. It was funded by The Crossing church in Chesterfield.

In the meantime, Brown could be released from prison after 19 years.