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A 23-year-old Racine man is facing the rest of his life in prison for his alleged role in the attempted retaliatory shooting homicide of a 16-year-old boy he mistakenly believed was involved in the March 2022 shooting death of 14-year-old Eugene Henderson.

The boy is not a gang member and had nothing to do with Henderson’s death.

Jamauel Ford, 23, was assigned a $250,000 cash bail during his initial appearance Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court to face charges of first-degree attempted intentional homicide as a party to a crime and first-degree recklessly endangering safety as a part to a crime. If convicted, he faces up to 72-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines. Both charges are felonies and were filed with a “use of a dangerous weapon” enhancer, so Ford could have up to 11 years in prison added to any sentence he might receive.

Ford received the same bond amount given to co-defendant Xavier Jackson, 18, also of Racine, when he was charged in April with the same crimes.

Shooting incident included shots fired from inside SUV

According to the criminal complaint, Jackson and Ford on March 20 drove an SUV in the 1100 block of Albert Street with a third suspect when they came upon the shooting victim walking with a 6-year-old boy. Video footage taken from Albert Street shows the vehicle stopped, and two people exited, one of whom fired shots at the older boy. After he fell to the ground, a second gunman approached the boy, shooting him numerous times in the back. There was also evidence additional shots were fired from inside the SUV that struck the ground. The 6-year-old ran from the scene.

Jackson and Ford were apprehended on March 26 in Zion, IL, after the SUV – reported stolen in Lake County, IL, on March 17 – was located at a Racine residence tied to Henderson’s family, the complaint continues. Jackson drove the car into Illinois and crashed into a tree, and he and Ford attempted the flee the area on foot. Along Jackson’s flight path investigators recovered two firearms, one of which Jackson brandished in a video he posted on social media. Another gun was found in the abandoned SUV.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators believe Ford was the individual who fired the additional shots from inside the SUV because he told investigators during questioning at the Lake County Detention Center that he walks with a limp as a result of a football injury. Ford admitted to visiting his cousin at a home associated with Henderson’s family before fleeing with Jackson in the stolen SUV and that his DNA might be on the handgun recovered from inside the vehicle.

Handgun tied to at least 4 incidents

Ballistics reports from all three guns indicate Jackson’s handgun is tied to at least four different incidents, including the attempted homicide of the 16-year-old boy, and the firearm Ford handled was also used in the commission of that crime, the complaint reads.

Ford was released sooner from the Lake County Detention Center than investigators anticipated, and eluded law enforcement until his arrest on July 10 in Racine County, the complaint continues. He will next be in court on July 20 for his preliminary hearing.

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