Suspect in 15-year-old's murder to be tried as adult - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Suspect in 15-year-old's murder to be tried as adult

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Keon Huff Jr. was shot and killed at an apartment in Hartford on March 17. (WFSB file photo) Keon Huff Jr. was shot and killed at an apartment in Hartford on March 17. (WFSB file photo)
Keon Huff Jr., the 15-year-old who was shot and killed earlier this month.  (WFSB) Keon Huff Jr., the 15-year-old who was shot and killed earlier this month. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A 17-year-old boy arrested in connection with the death of a Hartford will be tried as an adult, according to court papers released on Monday.

Tywone Edwards Jr. is accused in the death of 15-year-old Keon Huff Jr. Edwards was charged with murder, evidence tampering and carrying a pistol without a permit.

On March 17, police said they were called to a Garden Street apartment building where an eyewitness reported a person had been shot.

According to court documents, Edwards appeared to be playing with gun when it accidentally went off.

Within a week, investigators had a warrant for Edwards, who they believed to be responsible for the crime.

“I think about and I wonder what I could do about it. It was dark and I don't go outside after dark,” said Matilda Hampton, who is known as “Granny” to those who live at a Garden Street apartment.

She knew Huff, and said he was at her apartment a week-and-a-half ago with two of his friends. She said she had fed them.

Hours later they’d return.

According to a statement given by Edwards, who turned himself in, he thought the safety was on and started pulling the trigger. The gun went off.

One bullet struck Huff in the head. Three others who were with them ran away, leaving Hampton with a horrific scene when she looked to see what was going on. 

"This is the kid who was in my hallway and I just fed him," Hampton said.

While Hartford police were rushing to the scene, Edwards said the bullet casing was thrown in a backyard and the gun was kept hidden at a house.

Those who know Huff said it's been hard trying to make sense of what happened. They said he was popular at the Wilson-Gray YMCA in Hartford.

"It was great getting to see who Keon was and that happy spirit of a kid who really loved coming to the Wilson-Gray YMCA," said Carl Hardrick, ambassador, crisis intervention.

His grandmother said he had a troubled childhood and his family was involved with the Department of Children and Families.

The scene tough to shake for Hampton, one who considers all kids, hers.

“It just hurts my heart that it's somebody's son, so young,” Hampton said.

Huff was described as loving to play basketball at the YMCA. He also cherished his family.

“We wanted to be there for him because we knew this is all he had sometimes,” said Alex Thomas, a membership coordinator at the YMCA on Albany Avenue.

He described both Huff and Edwards as “at-risk youths” who would frequently seek solace at the YMCA, but hasn't seen Edwards in a while. 

“He was active as well, but not as active in the last year,” Thomas said.

The neighborhood tragedy has served as a wake-up call for the city. Candid, sometimes informal, meetings have been held since the murder.

“We were all speaking and we were all just like, we need to do a better job. We were speaking about how we're going to do that,” Thomas said.

Officials said they don't have a database of at-risk youths and are looking to collaborate with the city and its police department to start one. 

“We just have to do a better job at identifying those youths who are on that line who are going to cross it,” Thomas said.

Edwards is being held on a $1 million bond.

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