HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. —An impromptu memorial of artificial flowers and dozens of stuffed animals remained Monday near strands of yellow crime-scene tape in a vacant lot where relatives say 15-year-old Jamar Pinkney Jr.' s father shot him in the head while he begged for mercy.
The lot is next to the two-story brick home where Jamar lived with his mother in the impoverished Detroit enclave of Highland Park, a once-prosperous city of 16,000, where decay, abandonment, fires and demolition have eaten away at the community.
Around the neighborhood, Jamar was remembered as a humble and generous boy who grew up tossing the football and worried about keeping his grades up. Since his death a week ago, friends, family and the community have struggled with making sense of his slaying and his father's arrest.
Relatives say Jamar's father, Jamar Pinkney Sr., was irate over allegations that his son had sexual contact with a 3-year-old girl and made him strip at gunpoint, marched him to the lot and shot him as he begged for his life. Prosecutors have charged Jamar Pinkney Sr. with first-degree murder and jailed him without bond.
Police say the sexual misconduct accusation isn't part of the their investigation, and for many who knew Jamar, that allegation hasn't tempered the grief and outrage that another young life has been cut short.
' 'Most people feel that no 15-year-old, no matter what the circumstances or no matter had transpired, was deserving of this kind of fate,'' said Bishop Edgar L. Vann II, who delivered the eulogy before about 1,600 people gathered for Jamar's funeral on Monday at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.
Jamar's family said he was known for his entertaining personality and selfless kindness. He had competed as a wrestler since age 4 and played football since he was 6.
' 'He was generous, he was kind,'' said Deborah Jenkins, principal of Martin Luther King High School in Detroit, where Jamar was a sophomore.
His mother, Lazette Cherry, has said her son told her he had improper sexual contact with the girl and she called his father. Cherry said the elder Pinkney arrived Nov. 16 with a gun, ordered his son to strip and m arched him outside.
Pinkney Sr., 37, was in jail Monday and had been getting mental health treatment, said defense attorney Corbett O'Meara. A hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence for the Detroit man to stand trial on murder and assault charges is Dec. 1. O'Meara said Pinkney Sr. is ''devastated.''