WILKES-BARRE ‚?? A 14-year-old boy facing an undisclosed criminal charge in juvenile court in connection to the April shooting death of his friend, 14-year-old Tyler Winstead, appeared in Luzerne County Court for a second time Friday.
Prosecutors and family members remained tight-lipped about what happened in the closed-door proceeding.
Elijah Yusiff, of Wilkes-Barre, appeared for a court proceeding before Judge Tina Polachek Gartley. The hearing was listed on the judge‚??s schedule as a disposition hearing, which is similar to a sentencing in adult court.
He previously appeared before the judge at a May 30 hearing.
To reach a disposition hearing, a juvenile must first appear at an adjudication hearing, where he or she may be declared a delinquent.
Tyler, of 121 Hill St., Wilkes-Barre, was found shot April 5 in front of 117 Hill St., where Yusiff lived.
An initiative to improve city life began recently as a result of the youth‚??s death. The Building Bridges initiative was born when two Baptist ministers began working with Mayor Tom Leighton and the city to reduce crime and make the city safer for youth.
Yusiff is the only one who has been charged in connection with Tyler‚??s death. Neither police nor prosecutors have fully disclosed what they believe happened when Tyler was killed.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said Friday after the two-hour long hearing, which included discussions among attorneys, that she could not comment on the proceeding because of state law.
Assistant District Attorneys Michelle Hardik and Mamie Phillips also attended Friday‚??s hearing, as well as Yusiff‚??s attorneys, Demetrius Fannick and Cheryl Sobeski Reedy.
Several members of Tyler‚??s family attended the hearing wearing memorial shirts in his honor that read, ‚??Real love never dies.‚?Ě
Tyler‚??s grandparents and guardians, Willie and Carol Golden, said they did not wish to comment after Friday‚??s hearing, nor did Tyler‚??s parents, Christine and Terrence Winstead.
A man and woman were seen meeting with Sobeski Reedy after the hearing. It is unknown if they are related to Yusiff, who was wearing handcuffs as he was led out of the courthouse by juvenile probation officers.
Salavantis has said because of the nature of the charges and Yusiff‚??s age, the case cannot be discussed, and that a judge must seal the record and make any hearings closed to the public.
If Yusiff were to be declared a delinquent, he would face a disposition hearing, where a judge could place him in a juvenile detention center until the age of 21, among other variations.
Since the shooting, Yusiff‚??s family has moved out of the Wilkes-Barre home and relocated to Monroe County.
Yusiff told reporters the night Tyler was shot that he heard a gunshot and saw a man driving away in a red or burgundy, older model Ford Taurus. Immediately after the shooting, Luzerne County 911 broadcast a bulletin to be on the lookout for the vehicle.
The search for the car has since withered without any explanation from investigators or Salavantis.