ELKHART — Elkhart teen Jesus Macedo-Perez will appear for his initial hearing Thursday, June 27, at the Elkhart Circuit Court, where the judge will read formal charges against him.
Macedo-Perez, 16, has been charged with murder and the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office is seeking to add a criminal gang enhancement, according to court files.
Formal charges were filed in Elkhart Circuit Court Wednesday, June 26, against Macedo-Perez in connection with the death of 16-year-old Braxton Barhams.
If Macedo-Perez is convicted of murder following a trial, his sentence could be doubled if the prosecuting attorney can prove he was participating in a criminal gang activity.
But Macedo-Perez does not have to be a member of a gang for the prosecutor to seek a criminal gang enhancement.
Indiana Code 35-45-9-1 defines criminal gang as a group of at least three members that specifically either promotes, assists or participates in the commission of a felony. Criminal gang is also defined as a group of at least three people that requires the commission of a felony as a condition of membership.
Barhams was wounded in a drive-by shooting Saturday, June 22, near 250 W. Garfield Ave. Shortly afterward he was pronounced dead at Elkhart General Hospital.
The Elkhart County Coroner’s office ruled Barhams’ death a homicide and found that he died of a single gunshot wound to his left side.
Police arrested Macedo-Perez early Sunday morning, and a judge found probable cause for a murder charge on Monday.
Macedo-Perez’s initial hearing has been scheduled for Thursday at 8:30 a.m.