Amid reports of a confession in Baby Marcus killing, DA says he can’t file charges yet

Nearly seven years after 15-month-old Marcus White Jr. was shot and killed at a family picnic in Pittsburgh’s East Hills neighborhood, an attorney for the boy’s mother is demanding that charges be filed against a person who has allegedly confessed to the killing.The renewed call for justice comes after attorney Paul Jubas said White’s mother, Jameela Tyler, found out on social media that her son’s alleged murderer had confessed.In a statement Thursday, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said the death of Marcus is part of a confidential grand jury investigation, and that his office “cannot file charges until such time as evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.” (Scroll down to read the DA’s full statement.)Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Bob Mayo recently reported that a jailhouse informant who allegedly admitted to the May 2013 drive-by shooting that killed Marcus could potentially be a key witness for the prosecution in the trial of two men charged in the 2016 ambush shooting outside a home in Wilkinsburg that killed six people, including an unborn child.Mayo also recently reported that it’s possible the witness may be barred from testifying.In a press release, Jubas said the information about the confession was not provided to Marcus’ mother by police or the District Attorney’s office, as required by the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act. Instead, Jubas said the mother found out via social media.Jubas wrote, “It is astounding that the District Attorney has elected to protect a confessed baby-killer. The choice to protect a confessed baby-killer, as opposed to providing justice to Baby Marcus and his family, proves that the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has lost its way. It is difficult to imagine a more disappointing perversion of justice.”Jubas said the family of Marcus is calling for criminal homicide charges against the confessed killer, as well as the resignation of Zappala for what Jubas called the decision to not charge the confessed killer.Below is a statement from District Attorney Stephen Zappala regarding the death of Marcus White Jr.In 2013, in the East Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a vehicle containing four persons drove up on an apartment complex and fired multiple shots into a crowd in the common area of the apartments, killing 15-month-old Marcus White Jr.Understandably, any death of a child resulting from violence motivates both law enforcement and the community to search for answers. However, our office cannot file charges until such time as evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.Appropriately, an Allegheny County investigating grand jury was employed as an effective way to coordinate information concerning multiple instances of violent crime, including homicides, connected to specific groups of individuals in the City of Pittsburgh. This approach has thus far resulted in numerous arrests for acts of violence, homicide and otherwise, and the work of law enforcement in this effort is ongoing.The assumed work product of the grand jury as it pertains to the death of Marcus White Jr. and other violent crimes is protected by confidentiality. Consequently, the rules and statutes governing that confidentiality prohibit a more specific response.To make a statement that law enforcement is not absolutely and unconditionally dedicated to combating violence of any kind and anywhere in the City of Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County is insulting to the men and women charged with protecting our community each day.

Nearly seven years after 15-month-old Marcus White Jr. was shot and killed at a family picnic in Pittsburgh’s East Hills neighborhood, an attorney for the boy’s mother is demanding that charges be filed against a person who has allegedly confessed to the killing.

The renewed call for justice comes after attorney Paul Jubas said White’s mother, Jameela Tyler, found out on social media that her son’s alleged murderer had confessed.

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In a statement Thursday, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said the death of Marcus is part of a confidential grand jury investigation, and that his office “cannot file charges until such time as evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.” (Scroll down to read the DA’s full statement.)

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Bob Mayo recently reported that a jailhouse informant who allegedly admitted to the May 2013 drive-by shooting that killed Marcus could potentially be a key witness for the prosecution in the trial of two men charged in the 2016 ambush shooting outside a home in Wilkinsburg that killed six people, including an unborn child.

Mayo also recently reported that it’s possible the witness may be barred from testifying.

In a press release, Jubas said the information about the confession was not provided to Marcus’ mother by police or the District Attorney’s office, as required by the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act. Instead, Jubas said the mother found out via social media.

Jubas wrote, “It is astounding that the District Attorney has elected to protect a confessed baby-killer. The choice to protect a confessed baby-killer, as opposed to providing justice to Baby Marcus and his family, proves that the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has lost its way. It is difficult to imagine a more disappointing perversion of justice.”

Jubas said the family of Marcus is calling for criminal homicide charges against the confessed killer, as well as the resignation of Zappala for what Jubas called the decision to not charge the confessed killer.


Below is a statement from District Attorney Stephen Zappala regarding the death of Marcus White Jr.

In 2013, in the East Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a vehicle containing four persons drove up on an apartment complex and fired multiple shots into a crowd in the common area of the apartments, killing 15-month-old Marcus White Jr.

Understandably, any death of a child resulting from violence motivates both law enforcement and the community to search for answers. However, our office cannot file charges until such time as evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Appropriately, an Allegheny County investigating grand jury was employed as an effective way to coordinate information concerning multiple instances of violent crime, including homicides, connected to specific groups of individuals in the City of Pittsburgh. This approach has thus far resulted in numerous arrests for acts of violence, homicide and otherwise, and the work of law enforcement in this effort is ongoing.

The assumed work product of the grand jury as it pertains to the death of Marcus White Jr. and other violent crimes is protected by confidentiality. Consequently, the rules and statutes governing that confidentiality prohibit a more specific response.

To make a statement that law enforcement is not absolutely and unconditionally dedicated to combating violence of any kind and anywhere in the City of Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County is insulting to the men and women charged with protecting our community each day.