Haverford High School student arraigned on attempted murder charges in Havertown shooting

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Haverford HS student arraigned on attempted murder charges
Haverford High School student, James McCauley, arraigned on attempted murder charges as reported during Action News at 11 on February 13, 2019.

HAVERFORD TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- A high school student appeared before a Delaware County judge on attempted murder charges Wednesday night, after police say he shot a fellow classmate in the neck during a drug deal gone bad.

Haverford High School student James McCauley, 17, had nothing to say as he walked into his arraignment. He was wearing white disposable coveralls, because officials said he was shirtless and wearing shorts when he was arrested.

His mother followed into the court shortly thereafter, covering her face.

When asked if she had anything to say, she replied: "It was self-defense. Bye."

An affidavit of probable cause said 18-year-old Marquis Mays and a friend had gone to meet up with McCauley and two of his friends to buy an ounce of marijuana for $150 on Tuesday. The victim's friend told police that during the exchange a white male in the rear of McCauley's car became touchy with Mays and a fight ensued.

Police said as the victim was trying to exit the vehicle, McCauley turned around from the driver's seat and fired a shot at Mays, striking him in the neck.

The affidavit said when a friend asked him what happened, McCauley said: "I (expletive) shot that guy."

Haverford High School student shot in face over ounce of marijuana, police say: Gray Hall reports on Action News at 4 p.m., February 13, 2019

Mays remains in the hospital in critical condition.

Haverford Township Police Chief John Viola said the two knew each other.

"When you get down to it, you're talking about an ounce of marijuana and then shooting somebody over that is ridiculous," Viola said.

Police say they recovered a stolen Springfield .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun believed to be the gun used in the shooting.

The suspect's mother audibly gasped when the judge announced that McCauley was being charged with attempted criminal homicide.

McCauley's lawyer Christopher Koschier told the judge it was all in self-defense.

Following the arraignment, Koschier read a written statement asking that people withhold judgment until his day in court.

"I can't make any more statements than that, I'm sorry," said Koschier.

While the suspect's parents had nothing to say as they left the courthouse, McCauley's grandparents did offer one statement.

"It's a tragedy," McCauley's grandfather said.

McCauley has been charged with attempted criminal homicide, attempted murder of the first degree and other related offenses.

He is being held at the George Hill Correctional Facility on $1 million cash bail.


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