A teenager accused in a shooting at an Orange County high school is facing new charges related to a homicide that happened earlier in 2013.
J’Morian Bell was arrested shortly after the shooting at West Orange High School that left victim Ja’Roderick Smith injured.
Channel 9 has learned Bell is now facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the November 2013 death of Matthew Whitten.
“I was relieved that they found somebody that could be charged,” said Richard Whitten, the victim’s father. “It’s been so long.”
According to investigators, Bell fatally shot Matthew Whitten during an attempted home invasion. Authorities said Matthew Whitten was not the intended target and it was a case of mistaken identity.
“He did a mean, hateful, evil thing to a boy that never harmed anybody,” said Joy Whitten, the victim’s mother.
Matthew Whitten’s parents expressed sympathy for Smith’s mother.
“I just wished I could’ve talked to that mother and told her how sorry I felt,” Joy Whitten said.
Authorities said a second suspect involved in the attempted home invasion and homicide has also been charged in the case.