Teen charged with murder, did not pull the trigger on gun

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MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee teen is charged with the murder of one of his own best friends but he's not the one who pulled the trigger. The man who did pull the trigger isn't being charged at all.

Gloria smith is the mother of 18-year-old Jovan Williams. Friday Williams was charged with felony murder in the death of 18-year-old Zaire Burris. Smith spoke exclusively with FOX6 News and says the two were close friends.

"They grew up together," says Smith.

According to the criminal complaint on October 19th Williams "told Zaire that he had an easy robbery all set up." Police say the two of them got a gun and went into an alley just north of 27th and Burleigh in Milwaukee. It was here authorities say they robbed a man sitting in his car. However that man had a concealed carry permit.

While Williams was handing Burris the gun the man being robbed tells police he un-holstered his weapon and opened fire. Burris was found a block to the south with five gunshot wounds and died at the hospital. Williams was found and arrested for the robbery but the charge of murder came as a shock to his mom.

"He shouldn't be taking the rap for the killing because he did not kill the guy," says Smith.

As for the man being robbed - the same man who police say actually pulled the trigger - the killing was ruled self-defense. That means he does not face any charges.

Williams on the other hand is being saddled with a felony murder charge. The reason given in the criminal complaint states “he caused Burris' death while committing armed robbery.”

“He had so much time and I feel he shouldn't have been charged for that," says Smith.

As was mentioned Williams was charged with felony murder, not intentional homicide. It's a big difference in the legal system. As such he faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison.