DeKALB – One of two DeKalb men charged with first-degree murder in the Thursday shooting death of a 19-year-old DeKalb High School graduate was denied bail Saturday by a DeKalb County judge after prosecutors argued the man’s release would pose a public threat.
Jayden C. Hernandez, also 19, of the 500 block of Russell Road in DeKalb, denied that he fired a gun that resulted in the death of Marlon A. King of Rockford Thursday night. An autopsy showed King suffered a bullet wound to the back, according to court records. King died en route to a Rockford hospital at 11:49 p.m. May 11, about 40 minutes after the shooting was reported.
“I was falsely accused,” Hernandez said Saturday to Associate Judge Jill Konen during a bond hearing where he appeared virtually from the DeKalb County Jail. He’ll remain held without bail throughout his court proceedings, according to Konen’s ruling.
King, a 2022 DHS graduate, played basketball for the Barbs, according to social media posts published by his former head boys basketball coach Mike Reynolds.
“Marlon’s positive spirit and work ethic had a HUGE effect on our Barb Basketball family,” Reynolds wrote Friday. “He will be sorely missed by me and the rest of our program.”
Hernandez’s defense attorney, Chicago area-based lawyer Melanie Fialkowski, urged Hernandez to remain quiet, but he continued to express his innocence.
“I did not admit to that. I did not admit to shooting anybody,” Hernandez said, refuting court documents filed by the DeKalb Police Department that allege he told police he “squeezed off a round” that struck King during an altercation about 11 p.m. Thursday.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that the shooting occurred during a confrontation between King, Hernandez and a third person, Scott S. Carreon, also charged with first-degree murder. Police responded to reports of a shooting at 11:14 p.m. at an apartment building in the 400 block of Russell Road Thursday, records show.
According to DeKalb County court records filed May 12, Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder, mob action and resisting a peace officer. If convicted on the Class M murder charge, he could face an extended sentence of 45 to 85 years in prison due to the nature of the allegations and Hernandez’s criminal background, which involves a firearm conviction.
Hernandez was on probation at the time of King’s shooting death for a 2022 guilty plea.
Records show Hernandez pleaded guilty Dec. 27, 2022, to a July 18, 2022, Class 4 felony charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. In exchange for the plea, Circuit Court Judge Philip Montgomery sentenced Hernandez to two years probation and 50 months of community service. Hernandez also was ordered to undergo drug addiction treatment.
“I take judicial notice of the fact that Mr. Hernandez is on probation,” Konen said. “I don’t believe that he at this point is in compliance with the order of probation.”
Fialkowski argued Hernandez’s case didn’t qualify for bail prohibition.
“My client is only 19 years old. Given my understanding of the alleged facts, there may be an affirmative defense in play once the case matures a bit,” Fialkowski said. “He also has another case in the system in which he has never failed to appear in court ... He’s been compliant with the terms of that plea. This is not a situation where I think no bail is justified.”
Prosecutors argued, however, that Hernandez broke those probation conditions when he took part in the deadly shooting.
Hernandez is alleged to have brought a firearm to the apartment building Thursday night.
“This is not his first time carrying a firearm and getting in trouble with the law,” said Attorney Brooks Locke of the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office. “He is a threat to the public and therefore we’d ask the court to deny bail.”
In addition to the murder charge, Scott, 20, of DeKalb, also is charged with mob action in King’s death, court records show. Scott remains in police custody but hospitalized after he suffered a gunshot wound during the incident.
When DeKalb police officers responded to the shooting, they found King and Scott had been shot, police said. King also was found with a handgun in his front coat pocket, court records state. Hernandez allegedly also brought a gun to the scene and handed it to Scott, who then began physically fighting King. Hernandez told police he attempted to wrestle a gun away from King and Scott, and when he did, a bullet fired, records allege. King grabbed his leg and then Hernandez allegedly struck him in the head with the firearm.
Hernandez told police he ran into a nearby apartment and threw the gun into the only bathroom in the unit, records allege.
Paramedics took King to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb, and he later died while being flown to a Rockford hospital for further treatment. Scott was being treated at an area hospital on Friday, DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said.
Hernandez is next ordered to appear for a status hearing on the charges at 8:45 a.m. June 6.
While unrelated, King’s death marked the second homicide reported in a week on DeKalb’s north side, and the third this year. Gracie Sasso-Cleveland, a 15-year-old DeKalb High School freshman, was killed the previous Thursday. Police found her body in a dumpster Sunday, May 7, after Sasso-Cleveland’s family reported her missing the night before. Timothy M. Doll, 29, a registered sex offender of the 500 block of College Avenue in DeKalb, faces first-degree murder charges in the teen’s death.