FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A 16-year-old accused of conspiring to commit murder in connection with the shooting death of a Fort Wayne girl last summer pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge.
Jalayah Brown is now facing between two to six years in prison after pleading guilty to a Level 5 felony count of assisting a criminal in the killing of fellow 16-year-old Le’Brishia Hobbs.
Hobbs was found suffering from a gunshot wound to her head in the backyard of a city home this past July. She had been laying on the ground under the rain for up to eight or so hours, according to investigators.
Hobbs died at a local hospital more than a month later.
Brown had been accused of helping Hobbs’ shooter in either obtaining a gun, hiding a gun after the shooting or alerting the shooter to Hobbs’ location with knowledge a shooting was imminent.
Allen County prosecutors initially charged Brown as an adult with a Level 1 felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, which carries 20 to 40 years in prison.
They will drop that charge as part of a plea deal, which also calls for Brown to testify against another teenager accused of shooting Hobbs.
That teen, 16-year-old Elaysha Underwood, is charged with murder in Hobbs’ death.
Underwood is accused of shooting Hobbs over a relationship gone bad, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
At some point either during the night or early morning of the shooting, Hobbs began receiving text messages from Underwood, court documents said.
The messages appeared to be over the two girls’ relationship, a police detective wrote in court documents. Underwood eventually came over to the home – it’s not completely clear when, but it appears either the late night hours of July 5 or the early morning hours of July 6 – and wanted to come inside.
Hobbs did not let Underwood in the front door, according to court documents. She finally relented and met Underwood outside when the girl came to the home’s back door. A witness inside the home – who police did not identify – heard Hobbs say ‘stop’ followed by the sound of a gunshot.
This witness thought the gunshot was possibly Underwood firing her gun in the air as she had done in the past, court documents said.
In an interview with police, Underwood claimed she went to the home’s front door but left when nobody answered, according to court documents.
She is also charged with using a firearm to commit an offense where death occurs and a count of conspiracy to commit murder. Her trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 1, according to court records.
Brown is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 11, after Underwood’s trial concludes.