PITTSBURGH — A teenager who confessed to killing another teen was released from jail on a legal technicality and then the case took an unexpected turn.
Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle has been looking into the case for months. He spoke with the victim’s mother, who now worries that she won’t get answers about her son’s death.
“He wanted to be an architect, but his dream was that’s predicated if he didn’t make it to the NFL to the pros,” said Shari Williams, about her son 18-year old Kahlil Logan.
Williams showed Earle the trophies and memories that fill her son’s bedroom, which she hasn’t touched since he was shot and killed in 2018.
“There’s not a minute that goes by where I don’t break down and cry, like I’m trying my hardest right now to stay strong with you talking… you know saying the good memories of it but in the back of my mind I’m like 'OK, yeah but he’s not here now,” Williams said.
On a September evening in 2018, Logan, a senior star football player at Westinghouse High School, was shot and killed inside an abandoned building in Wilkinsburg, where he and a group of friends had gathered to party. Police said Logan was shot two times in the back of the head.
Shortly after the shooting, police nearby spotted a teenager matching the description of the suspected shooter. He was taken into custody and driven to the Wilkinsburg Police Department.
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Police said 18-year old Deshere Davenport admitted to shooting Logan, but said it was self-defense as he thought Logan was pulling a gun. Logan’s mother doesn’t buy it.
“The little boy tried to claim it was self-defense but how is this self-defense if my son got shot in the back of the head and there was no gun found,” Williams said.
Police charged Davenport with murder, but public defender Lisa Middleman argued that police had violated Davenport’s rights when they took him into custody and transported him to the Wilkinsburg Police Department.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Tom Flaherty agreed, writing in a court document, “Wilkinsburg Police did not possess probable cause at the time Defendant was arrested.”
Flaherty ordered that what police described as “critical evidence” gathered from the defendant, including the confession and gunshot residue must be suppressed.
The court’s decision angered Logan’s mother.
“I’m like furious, I’m upset. I feel like there’s no justice being served. All I can say is that I want justice for my son, and there has to be some type of ruling where I can overturn suppressing that evidence because that’s a huge part of the evidence,” Williams said.
Wilkinsburg Police Chief Ophelia Coleman declined to talk on camera, but she told Earle she disagreed with the judge’s ruling and defended her officers, stating they make similar arrests all the time.
One of the officers told Target 11, “If this happens again, we are going to detain him again. We do this every day. We do this all the time. In the past, we’ve taken them here (Wilkinsburg Police Department), and the county comes to get them.”
Without the critical evidence, prosecutors were forced to drop the case.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office issued this statement to Target 11:
“In light of the recent court order granting the motion to suppress evidence filed by the defendant in this case, which the Commonwealth will not appeal, the Commonwealth will discontinue prosecution at this time to permit continued investigation.”
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The district attorney’s office said Davenport is still considered the prime suspect in Logan’s death.
Earle also reached out to Middleman, but she did not provide a response.
The judge released Davenport from jail, but three months later a shocking twist occurred in the case.
On June 7, Davenport was dead. Police said he was shot and killed in an alley in Wilkinsburg. Police said he had a gun, along with bundles of heroin and marijuana. No one has been charged with his death.
Police reached out to Logan’s mother and told them what had happened. She said she’s upset that she will likely never know why her son was killed.
“I was just like now I’m still not going to find out answers, a reason as to why he did that to my son. I hoped that I at least had the opportunity to ask him what was the real reason. I mean the damage is already done. There’s nothing more you can do to hurt my feelings, but just the only thing you owe me if anything you owe me is the truth, the honest. You could have gave me that,” said Williams.
She is still hoping that some of the witnesses will eventually come forward and give her the answers she’s been searching for.
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