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Teen charged in November Jefferson City homicide

He is suspected of being an accessory to murder

Stadium Blvd Homicide

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A 15-year-old has been charged as an accessory to murder in a November shooting death in Jefferson City.

The Cole County Prosecutor's Office charged Bruce Leon Thomas with accessory to murder in the second-degree and first-degree robbery. A judge set his bond at $100,000 cash-only. 

The charges stem from the Nov. 19 death of 19-year-old Nilez Nichols in the 1900 block of Stadium Boulevard. Jefferson City police believe Nichols was shot during a marijuana deal, and that Thomas' charges come from his "involvement" in Nichols' death.

According to court documents, Thomas went to the residence in order to buy marijuana and ask about a gun sale. Thomas admitted to police that he went to the home with the intention of stealing the marijuana. Thomas got in a fight with the resident of the apartment over the drugs and the gun and then stole both the drugs and the gun, court documents said.

The resident asked his roommate, Nichols, to chase after the alleged robber. The court documents state that a co-defendent from the home shot Nichols, who later died from the injuries.

Prosecutors previously charged 20-year-old Semaj Harris with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary.

Police said in court documents that Harris barged into the home with a gun to find Nichols and an unnamed "co-defendant" fighting over a gun. According to police, Harris pointed his gun at the two and demanded they stop fighting. The probable cause statement in Harris' case said that Nichols chased them from his home.

Available court documents do not identify who the shooter is in the situation.

"The law states that you don't actually have to be the person that pulled the trigger," said Lieutenant David Williams with JCPD. "If someone dies during the course of a crime that you are involved in, you're as culpable as the person that actually fired."

Williams also said the prosecutor can change or add charges for either Harris or Thomas up until the point the case goes to trial.


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