Tyrone Height and James Young Held in Willard Carlos Shelton’s Murder

Judge John Ramsey Johnson found probable cause Thursday in the case against Tyrone Height and James Young for the shooting death of Willard Carlos Shelton on August 31.

Police found Shelton with gunshot wounds and a bruise on his face in a parking lot on the 2500 block of Pomeroy Road Southeast. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

MPD Detective Paris White testified Thursday that Young told police he was “going through hard times and needed money,” so he and three other individuals planned to rob Shelton by luring him with fake drugs, but his idea didn’t go as planned.

According to Young, during the purchase, he saw that Shelton had a gun in his waist band. Then Young “grabbed it from him, and saw it was an unloaded BB gun, then he took off running,” White testified.

In court Thursday, White acknowledged that details from Young’s version of that night were unclear. White added that Young didn’t say who shot Shelton.

Later, police did find a BB gun in Young’s house, according to White.

At the time of the incident, Height was on GPS monitoring and a satellite placed him at the scene of Shelton’s murder, White testified.

However, in a photo array, including Height’s picture, Young didn’t identify any of the men as being present with him that night. Height denied being involved in the shooting, but he admitted to being in the area, White said.

According to White, an eyewitness told police it saw Young, who it has known for 13 years, on the sidewalk with a black gun and Height, who it has known for three years, standing near a playground with a silver gun firing multiple shots towards Shelton. The witness said while being shot at, Shelton spun around.

Detective White said police found 12 shell casings at the scene.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendra Briggs argued that Height and Young were together and the witness identified them both.

They were acting in concert during the robbery,” Briggs said. “It’s clear the witness has known them both and it saw them shooting at Shelton.”

Young’s attorney, Ferris Bond, argued that the prosecution has not proved his client did not act in self-defense, adding that Shelton was a known drug dealer.

He was a drug dealer with a gun, who was approaching Young,” Bond said.

Briggs said that there wasn’t any evidence that showed Shelton was a drug dealer. Instead, evidence showed Shelton was going to purchase drugs, according to Briggs.

Height’s attorney, Dana Page, argued that the only information that involves her client is from one witness, since Young never identified Height as one of the men with him on the night of Shelton’s death.

The witness’ recounting of events was confirmed by physical evidence,” Judge Johnson said before ruling that both men will remain held in the case.

A felony status conference is scheduled for November 14 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Johnson.

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