Gang member, detective testify in toddler's murder trial
Prosecutors believe Aiden McClendon drive-by was gang-related
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The second day of a trial for two young men accused in the January 2016 drive-by shooting of a 22-month-old Aiden McClendon was focused on the defendant's gang connections.
Henry Hayes IV, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, and Kquame Richardson, who was 17 at the time, have both been charged with murder in the shooting, which police believe was a gang-targeted drive-by hit on another gang member.
Gang unit detectives have testified that two local gangs were feuding, which the state believes led to Aiden's murder.
The courtroom was sealed and news cameras turned off Wednesday afternoon to protect the gang member's identity.
The state is trying to prove Hayes and Richardson were involved in the Problem Child Entertainment gang (PCE), which according to investigators, has been known to feud with the gang "187."
In evidence presented by the state, gang members were shown with guns, "RIP" shirts and allegedly driving stolen vehicles.
Detective Matt Bolan is a lead investigator with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's gang unit. He testified that gangs like Problem Child Entertainment and "187" create songs, which is how they instigate their feuds. The state claims in the minutes leading up to Aiden's murder, both gangs were feuding on social media.
The state used the gang member's testimony, stating Hayes and Richardson were involved with a prior gang-related shooting. The defense argued with testimony was inaccurate, saying he was being targeted in the shooting and could not identify the suspects.
On Thursday, a second gang member is expected to testify. That person could provide vital information about what happened the day Aiden was shot.
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