LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A 13-year-old and a 17-year-old are facing criminal charges for their alleged connection to the death of Makhi Williams in February.
Williams, 18, was the first homicide victim in Lansing in 2023.
He was shot and killed on the southside of Lansing around 7 p.m. on Feb. 5.
Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane announced Thursday that 17-year-old Keif Chatman has been arrested in connection to the death of Williams.
In addition, a 13-year-old suspect has been arrested but has not been named.
Both defendants have been charged with second degree murder and felony firearm.
After announcing the charges, Dewane took the opportunity to write a letter detailing his stance on cases involving violent crimes and juvenile offenders.
According to Dewane, his administration is taking a new approach in handling these types of cases. Former Prosecutor Carol Siemon previously took a more lenient approach with juvenile defendants. Dewane wants to move away from that mentality.
He used an example of a violent offender that will be released at 21, regardless of how his treatment went.
“At age 21, an offender with a violent history is truly in the heart of their most dangerous period in life. Anyone who is involved in law enforcement is going to see that persons aged, roughly, 15 to about 25 make up the greatest share of the most violent cases,” said Dewane.
Chatman, the 17-year-old arrested in connection to Williams’ death, will be charged as an adult and his case will be handled entirely in the standard criminal courts.
Dewane says prosecutors will handle the 13-year-old’s case as a “prosecutor designation,” which is a halfway point between the juvenile and adult legal systems.
If convicted, the 13-year-old would have to go through specialized treatment. If they do not progress through the treatment, they could be moved to the adult legal system.