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New Police Report Says Mother Helped Solve 10-Year-Old Son's Murder

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new police report says the mother of a 10-year-old boy who was shot and killed while playing basketball on his porch in March helped solve this crime.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes are also thanking the community for its support.

The report says Elizabeth Ruffin, the mother of Marlon Eason, started talking with sources in the community after her son was killed on March 24, 2015 and she discovered the names of the suspects who are now charged with the murder – 15-year-old Khalid Newkirk and 18-year-old Ernest Rowell.

The report says Ruffin learned from the suspects that they were shooting at a car near Eason's home in a dispute with rival gang members and said that Eason was shot by accident.

That same report says police did recover the weapon that was used in this crime and mentioned that Rowell had gone to Arkansas for awhile after the shooting.

Rowell is charged with first-degree murder and appeared in bond court where he asked if he could place a phone call to his mother. Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer transferred his case back to Juvenile court because Rowell was 17 at the time of the shooting.

The attorney for Newkirk waived his appearance Monday afternoon in Juvenile Court where his mother made an appearance. She learned that the state intended to eventually charge her son as an adult and "direct file" charges but no decision had been made yet.

Newkirk is being held in secure detention pending a hearing at 9 a.m. on August 28th.

His mother declined to speak to reporters on her way out of juvenile court.

Outside a church in Overtown, LLanes said, "Today is not a day to celebrate but we want to thank the community following two arrests in the case of Marlon Eason. The investigation is not over."

"A child should be able to play outside his home without fear of being hurt like every other child," said Llanes. "We've got a long way to go but this is a first step."

Fernandez Rundle said Eason was killed in a "cross fire between gangs by neighborhood terrorists."

She said the arrests show that "All children's lives matter. Black lives matter. The lives of all of us matter to everyone and our office."

Eason's grandmother, Dorothy Ruffin, broke down in tears when she spoke to CBS4's Peter D'Oench, saying, "I will never get over this. I am broke. I want the person who did this to look me in the eye and tell me why you pulled the trigger. I don't have a grandson. I lost my grandson. My baby is gone. I feel better there is justice but I am crying all the time."

Eason's uncle, Richard Ruffin, said, "I feel better but this is not closure. Whenever you lift up a gun and aim it that is a mistake."

D'Oench also spoke with the mother of Richard Hallman, the 16-year-old Booker T. Washington H.S. football player and cousin of University of Florida football player Treon Harris who was shot and killed in Allapattah two and half hours before Eason was gunned down.

"My son meant the world to me," said Hallman's mother Tranell Harris. "He was my guardian angel. I live this legacy. I miss my son so much. I want answers for who killed my son."

CBS4 has obtained an affidavit in which the lead Miami Police detective requested a search warrant for a home. In the affidavit, it said that two witnesses told police that a 15-year-old boy living in the home was involved in the shooting of Hallman. The search of the home did not find any evidence.

Harris has been told police are making progress.

"Right now I feel positive and I have faith that this case is moving in the right direction and that there will be justice for Richard and that an arrest will be made. In that case that would make me feel like there would be closure."

A Go Fund Me and a Facebook page for The Marlon Eason Foundation is taking donations for an upcoming "Prep Drive" providing school supplies for kids in need.


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