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Driver is third person charged with murder in girl's shooting

Casey Grove
A judge set bail at $1.5 million during an arraignment for Jamal Townsend, 24, in the Anchorage jail court on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Townsend and Lamar Burney, 28, have been charged with murder, attempted murder and second-degree assault in the shooting death of 15-year-old Precious Alex who was asleep in a Mountain View apartment on Tuesday morning.
Bill Roth
Mickel Richardson, 11, grandmother Dana Sweatt, and Teuaililo Talamaivao, 9, holding a photograph of her sister Precious Alex, 15, speak to the media after Lamar Burney was arraigned in the Anchorage jail court on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, for the shooting death of the teenage girl in Mt. View on Tuesday.
Bill Roth
A judge set bail at $1.5 million during an arraignment for Jamal Townsend, 24, in the Anchorage jail court on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Townsend and Lamar Burney, 28, have been charged with murder, attempted murder and second-degree assault in the shooting death of 15-year-old Precious Alex who was asleep in a Mountain View apartment on Tuesday morning.
Bill Roth
DeMetra Alex, center, speaks to a reporter about the loss of her slain daughter Precious Alex, 15, after attending the arraignment of Jamal Townsend, 24, in the Anchorage jail court on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Precious' friend Crislyn Carmack, 18, left, and Precious' brother Austin Cottrell, 14, right, stand by her side outside the jail.
Bill Roth
Teuaililo Talamaivao, 9, holds a photograph of her sister Precious Alex, 15, during the arraignment of Lamar Burney in the Anchorage jail court on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, for the shooting death of the teenage girl who was asleep in Mt. View on Tuesday.
Bill Roth
Lamar Burney was arraigned in the Anchorage jail court on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, for the shooting death of fifteen-year-old Precious Alex in Mt. View on Tuesday.
Bill Roth
Crislyn Carmack, 18, places a photo of best friend Precious Alex, 15, back on a fence after it had fallen into the snow at a memorial near the Mountain View apartment on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Anchorage Police arrested two men who have been charged in the shooting death.
Bill Roth
A judge set bail at $1.5 million during an arraignment for Jamal Townsend, 24, in the Anchorage jail court on Thursday, April 3, 2014. Townsend and Lamar Burney, 28, have been charged with murder, attempted murder and second-degree assault in the shooting death of 15-year-old Precious Alex who was asleep in a Mountain View apartment on Tuesday morning.
Bill Roth

The second of three people charged with murder in the shooting death of 15-year-old Precious Alex while she slept early Tuesday in a Mountain View apartment appeared in court Thursday at the Anchorage Jail.

At the hearing, a judge ordered 24-year-old Jamal Townsend to be held on $1.5 million cash bail. Townsend and 28-year-old Lamar Burney are charged with murder, attempted murder and assault. Their alleged getaway driver, 21-year-old Karlie West, is charged with murder and assault.

According to a detective's sworn statement in the charging document, Townsend told a witness he wanted to go to the North Flower Street apartment where Precious was staying to get revenge for a fight there two weeks earlier with her mother's fiance. The charges say Precious and a boy with her were shot through a window in the basement-level room, which was next to the room where her mother and the fiance slept.

The charges do not say who police think pulled the trigger or if they think Townsend or Burney meant to shoot the girl or the boy, who was hit in the foot.

Burney appeared in the jailhouse courtroom Wednesday, hiding his face behind paperwork, standing alone. A judge set his bail at $1 million cash bail.

Police announced the charges against West late Thursday. The Jeep Cherokee she was allegedly driving was stopped by officers shortly after the shooting in Mountain View. A Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun was later found under the drivers seat, said charges. Townsend and Burney were passengers in the Jeep at the time of the stop, according to the charges against them.

On Thursday afternoon, two corrections officers brought Townsend into the courtroom's inmate holding area and held his arms while he answered the judge's questions. Townsend looked at three women, whom the victim's mother, DeMetra Alex, said were his family members, and mouthed words at them and nodded.

The rest of the small courtroom gallery was packed with the victim's family, some standing to Townsend's left. Through the glass separating them, Townsend winked at the family at one point.

"Cockiness," DeMetra Alex said outside the jail after the hearing. "That shows you that he doesn't give a damn that he took my baby's life."

Alex said Townsend had been to the apartment before, and the families know each other. Townsend would have known who was sleeping in the room he allegedly shot into, Alex said.

"Honestly, I don't think it was intended for my baby, but who knows," she said. "I don't know if, because it was April Fool's, it was supposed to be a joke, 'Ha, ha,' trying to scare somebody, but clearly, look what happened."

If Townsend had felt any kind of sympathy, he would not have winked at the family, Alex said.

"It's OK with him. It's not OK with me. He took my angel from me," she said. "He just doesn't know what he did. He just doesn't know. Over what? That's still the answer we're looking for. Why? Will we ever get that answer? Will they ever say why?"

To honor Precious Alex, friends and family plan to release balloons at the corner of Flower Street and Parsons Avenue at 7 p.m. Saturday. A car wash fundraiser is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club on Price Street, with a march and rally against violence to follow, starting at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Lions Park and ending back at the Boys and Girls Club, where there will be a ceremony.

A fund to help the family with funeral expenses has also been set up at gofundme.com, reachable by searching for "Precious Alex."

A memorial service is set for April 10 at New Hope Baptist Church at 333 Price St., her mother said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4343. Twitter updates: twitter.com/kcgrove.

 


By CASEY GROVE
casey.grove@adn.com