COMPTON (CBS) — A 15-year-old boy charged in the shooting death of a 14-month-old toddler appeared before a judge on Friday for the first time.
About two dozen friends and family members of Donald Ray Dokins filled the Compton courthouse in support of the teen who did not enter a plea on charges of murder and attempted murder.
The victim, identified as 14-month-old Angel Cortez, was fatally shot on June 4 while in his father’s arms. His father was also shot but survived.
It’s alleged that Dokins rode by on his bike and seeing the father wear a purple shirt, colors of a rival gang, opened fire, according to authorities.
After an outcry from the community, police arrested Dokins, who prosecutors say, is a known gang member.
Relatives of Dokins, however, told CBS2′s Joy Benedict that they are saddened by the death of Angel but insist that it was at the hands of another. They say Dokins is not a gang member and was at home on the night of the murder.
“He’s not no gang member. He is a Christian. If you want to call Christianity a gang, then he is. He a Christian. He from a Christian gang. He is a family oriented little boy, educated, liked to go to school, loved children, would never do anything like this,” said Dokin’s aunt, Tahiti Perkins.
Bail for the teen, who is being tried as an adult, was set at $3 million. If convicted, he could face multiple life sentences.