Second suspect now in custody in fatal carjacking

March 26, 2010 9:38:23 AM PDT
There are new developments in the shooting death of a three-year-old girl during an attempted carjacking. We've learned the second man wanted in the case has turned himself in to police. Pressure from police was reportedly a factor in Jonathan Hunter turning himself in last night. Houston police say Hunter went to police headquarters with a local minister. Authorities say he's being questioned today, but no charges are being filed.

However, capital murder charges have been filed against Alton Barnes, who turned himself in earlier this week. Barnes was in court this morning for probable cause and has been assigned an attorney. He told the judge in open court, 'It wasn't me, your honor.'

Both Barnes and Hunter are suspected in the Sunday shooting death of three-year-old Charissa Powell. The girl was murdered as she sat in the back seat of her father's car. Her one-year-old brother was wounded. Powell's father was trying to get his kids out of the car as Barnes allegedly was trying to steal the vehicle.

Barnes' court-appointed attorney says he's looking into how Barnes was identified in this case.

"I understand there was a photo identification and we'll look at that more closely in the coming months, and try to determine what evidence, if any, there is," said attorney Anthony Osso.

Police say there may be a third person also wanted in this case, but that person has not been identified.

Fundraiser held for family

The fundraiser at the Blue Ocean Club was thrown hastily together by some of the closest friends of the murdered girl's family.

"If I would have known something like that was going to happen, my daughter and my son would have never been outside," said Charissa's father, Charles Powell.

He didn't want to show his face to the camera because one of the carjackers who killed his three-year-old daughter Charissa on Sunday is still on the loose.

"He shot her in the process of trying to shoot me, to rob me for some 'swangers,'" said Charles.

On Thursday night, Powell's friends tried to raise money for the Powell family who suddenly have to pay for a three-year-old girl's funeral, and hospital bills for a one-year-old boy injured by the bullets.

The sign held up by Dexter Wyble is a simple, hand-lettered one that read, 'Baby Charissa Donations.' Wyble and other friends of Powell's family spent Thursday night soliciting donations, standing on the corner of Mesa and Rinn in northeast Houston. It's an act of love they say, for a longtime friend who's hurting.

"I don't know how it is to lose a loved one, but when this happened it really touched home because you know I grew up with him," said Wyble.

Dollar bill by dollar bill, the donations added up

"I just came to donate money, make sure the family is OK," said one man.

But Charles Powell says he and his family and angry and hurting.

"There wouldn't be no words. Know what I'm saying? And I'm just going to leave it at that," said Charles.

If you have any information on Hunter's whereabouts, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.


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