A jury on Monday will begin deliberating the fate of a teen accused of shooting and injuring a 5-year-old boy at the little boy's North Philadelphia home 18 months ago.
"It is clear Kevin shot Rafeek Griffin," a prosecutor told a Common Pleas jury yesterday in her closing argument.
Kevin Fletcher "just decided to pick [the gun] up and look at it," Assistant District Attorney Namratha Ravikant said. "He held it very close to another human being . . . Rafeek was watching 'SpongeBob SquarePants.' "
She asked jurors: "Why would you point a gun in the direction of a little boy, or any human being for that matter?"
The shooting occurred about 12:40 a.m. Nov. 27, 2007, at Rafeek's former home on Huntingdon Street near Marshall in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia.
Fletcher, 16, who also lived on Huntingdon near Marshall and was a friend of Rafeek's older brother, Mohammed, is charged with aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime.
Ravikant told jurors that although she thinks the shooting was accidental, Fletcher recklessly caused serious injury to the little boy.
Defense attorney Natasha Taylor-Smith contended to jurors in her closing argument yesterday that serious injury was not inflicted on Rafeek, pointing out that when he was transported from Episcopal Hospital to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, someone noted on a transport sheet that he had a "small amount of bleeding" on his left thigh.
She also suggested that Fletcher may not have known that the gun was loaded or that someone else in the house shot Rafeek.
Rafeek, now 7, testified Wednesday that he was lying on his mother's bed watching the cartoon when Fletcher shot him.
He said another of his brother's friends, Angel Concepcion, had loaded a gun, then placed it on the bed. Shortly afterward, "Kevin picked up the gun," Rafeek testified. "Then he looked at it." As he was about to put it back on the bed, "he shot me," Rafeek said.
A doctor at St. Christopher's testified during the trial that the bullet entered Rafeek's buttock and exited his leg and caused a "serious risk of life-threatening injury," Ravikant said yesterday.
Taylor-Smith said Rafeek has given three versions of the shooting, and alleged that Concepcion may have shot Rafeek.
Ravikant, however, told jurors that although Rafeek's memories may differ on some details, he has consistently said that Fletcher shot him. *