The parents of several of the seven suspects charged in the shocking killing of a German tourist near Union Square last year lashed out against police following a court hearing Thursday.
Antoinette Strong, the mother of 19-year-old Marcus Blueford, who made his first court appearance Thursday along with the other defendants, said police made a mistake.
“He’s not part of it at all,” Strong said.
Police stopped a 38-Geary bus and detained Blueford soon after the August shootout, but then released him, Strong said. He has never been in a gang and does not mess with guns, she said.
Blueford and six others, who police have called gangbangers, have been charged in connection with the killing of vacationing school principal Mechthild Schröer, 50.
Of the seven in custody, five are being charged with murder, including Blueford, Phillip Stewart, 19, Delvon Scott, 20, Willie Eason, 19, and Raheem Jackson, 17, who is being tried as an adult. Eighteen-year-old Gethsamine Pita is being charged with accessory to murder. A second juvenile is also being charged in the case.
Six suspects were set to be arraigned Thursday, but the case was held over till May 16. Bail was set at $7 million for Scott and Eason, $6 million for Stewart, $3 million for Blueford and $1 million for Pita.
Reginald Jackson, the father of Raheem Jackson, a Mission High School student, said his son had attended the party and was outside when the gunfire erupted. But he ducked when shots rang out, ran off and called his mother to pick him up, Jackson said.
“He was falsely accused,” Jackson said. “He’s a good kid. He goes to school, gets good grades.”
The lawyer for one of the suspects alleges cops violated her client’s rights to an attorney during Wednesday’s flurry of arrests.
Rebecca Young, who represents alleged shooter Scott, said cops had her client in custody for five hours and denied her access to him. Young said she only learned about Scott’s arrest through the media.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming declined to respond to the allegation, saying only that prosecutors plan to try the case within the boundaries of the Constitution.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that 17-year-old Raheem Jackson is being tried as an adult and facing a murder charge.