- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2004

A thin Southeast teenager limped into D.C. Superior Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting a 17-year-old Ballou High School star football player Monday morning.

Senior Judge Robert S. Tignor said he found probable cause and ordered Thomas Joshua “T.J.” Boykin, 18, to submit to blood tests and to be held without bond until a preliminary hearing Feb. 20.

Mr. Boykin is charged with second-degree murder while armed in the shooting of James Richardson, 17, in the hallway outside the Ballou cafeteria at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

“It is still under investigation,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Waxman, and more charges may be added and other people may be charged.

Blood was splattered in the hallway near the Ballou cafeteria, and what appeared to be blood was found on Mr. Boykin’s clothing, the prosecutor said. Scientific analysis will determine whether the blood is a result of the shooting.

Mr. Boykin, who lives with his mother, Pearly, in the 1100 block of Stevens Road SE, was accompanied by an assistant public defender when he surrendered Tuesday.

Neither Mrs. Boykin nor Assistant Public Defender Gladys Joseph would comment yesterday.

Charging documents state that Mr. Boykin and James got into a fistfight outside the cafeteria at 10:29 a.m. Monday. James, who was a star defensive and offensive football player for Ballou, had an apparent advantage over Mr. Boykin, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and likely weighs less than 160 pounds.

Mr. Boykin, dressed in jail-issued white jacket and pants, appeared to be in pain as he walked.

Two witnesses, who identified Mr. Boykin from mug shots, said Mr. Boykin pulled an automatic handgun from his coat and fired several shots. James was shot in the chest, an arm and a leg. Another student was shot in the right leg, charging documents said.

“This T.J., I saw him pull out the gun and started shooting,” one witness said in the documents.

The other wounded student, 18, was treated at a hospital and released. Authorities withheld his name because he is a witness.

Mr. Waxman said the investigation is continuing and would not say whether the gun has been recovered.

James’ father, William Patterson, said his son had feared for his life and had stayed away from school for about six weeks before returning a week ago.

“My son got in a fight back in October and got the best of another kid, and I guess that kid figured since he couldn’t beat my son up with his hands, he’d use a gun,” Mr. Patterson said.

Although Mr. Boykin had lived in the row house in the 1100 block of Stevens Road SE for about 10 years, numerous residents said yesterday that they did not know him.

However, a next-door neighbor, Lilly Nelson, 80, said: “He was a nice and polite person. He loved music.”

Mrs. Boykin was away from home most of the day.

“She is a day care provider,” Mrs. Nelson said. Mrs. Boykin’s fenced yard had plastic playground equipment and a baby stroller.

Many of the tan two-story row houses on the one-way streets of the Barry Farms neighborhood are in poor condition. Most need touch-up painting. Some yards are piled with debris.

Ballou High School, at 3401 Fourth St. SE, is about one mile south along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, which runs along the east side of the row houses. The Anacostia River is close to the west side, and the Washington Monument and Capitol can be seen from the subdivision.

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