The mother of an Omaha teen killed in a fistfight and the mother of one of the boys charged with the assault stood side-by-side Thursday in an emotional moment calling the case a mistake.
Markell Vaughn and Trevaun Ammons, both 16 years old, allegedly got into a fight with 16-year-old Aquilee Muse as he walked with a group last Friday near 21st and Burt streets. Muse suffered a head injury and was pronounced brain dead Tuesday morning. His family took him off the ventilator Tuesday afternoon and he died shortly after that.
The mothers of Markell Vaughn and Aquilee Muse sat together saying this was a terrible mistake.
Carlista Muse said, “I'm not angry at the other two boys. I say that because I have God in my life to know that things happen for a reason. I just don't want to see more of this going on with these kids."
Corina Vaughn said, “They are good kids. All of these boys made bad choices like kids do every day. I want people out there to stop making judgments. If his mom can come and sit with me today, don't pre-judge my son."
The family of Aquilee "Keke" Muse released this statement Tuesday:
"Keke was a wonderful, loving and funny kid. He could put a smile on anyone's face. We always said that he should have his own comedy show. He loved to eat cereal, but more importantly, he loved his family and friends. He was deeply involved with church and carried his Bible in his backpack. We love him and will miss his big, bright smile every day. During this difficult time, we ask you to please respect our family's privacy as we continue to grieve."
An overflow crowd poured into the Douglas County Courthouse Wednesday. Every teen involved had supporters.
The tragedy started with a fight over something petty.
Defense attorney Randall Paragas said, “The fight was not over a girl. Unfortunately the information I have, it was over what you call mugging in the hallways, giving fear stares in the hallways. That, again, is the tragedy in this. That’s what this seems to stem from.”
According to court documents it was Trevaun Ammons and Aquilee Muse who were fighting. Muse lost his balance, Markell Vaughn hit Muse and Muse fell, hitting his head on the concrete.
Paragas said, “The county attorney is reviewing the autopsy results to find out what the cause of death was and then he’s going to make a decision on whether to amend the charges to manslaughter some type of homicide crime.”
At the courthouse Wednesday, Markell Vaughn’s family members said this was all a tragic accident.
Vaughn family member Tina Brye Jones said, “I was heartbroken. I mean, all our hearts are broken right now. Our family, his family and the other kid’s family - my heart is going out to them.”
Vaughn's family member Tanice Brye said, ”He’s focused on school and sports. That’s really what he loves to do… he’s a very positive person.”
Trevaun Ammons’ attorney says his client is also a good kid.
Paragas said, “Much like everyone involved in this case, he’s a school leader, a sports leader at school. No record, no gang affiliation. He’s just a good kid as everybody involved here seems to be.”
All the teens involved are Central High School students.
Vaughn and Ammons will be back in court on June 11.
A fund has been set up at First National Bank to help pay for Muse's funeral expenses.