Teen accused of fatally shooting 12-year-old Bridgeport boy appears in court

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The teen accused of fatally shooting a 12-year-old Bridgeport boy just a week before Christmas appeared in court Thursday.

Tajay Chambers, 19 is accused in the 2018 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Clinton Howell.

Howell was shot outside his home on Willow Street one week before Christmas. Court records say Chambers told investigators he shot Howell with a handgun from the rear of a stolen SUV, passing by the victim and his cousin multiple times before the fatal gunfire. Police say it stemmed from an ongoing spat.

Family members of Howell say they want to see justice served in the case, which they say they'll only get if the judge hands down a lengthy prison sentence. Those close to Howell have held a vigil outside the courtroom every time Chambers appears in court.

"It's still tough for us. We're still going through it day by day -- but we're holding on," says Gamel Dawkins, Clinton's brother.

But they say in today's pre-trial hearing the defense team was trying to strike a deal where Chambers would have his murder charge reduced to manslaughter, which the family says could bring a sentence as short as five years.

The deal would be struck on the grounds that the fatal gunshot was not meant for Howell.

"Whether it was meant for him or not, they should have never even attempted to shoot anybody — anybody," says family spokesperson April Barron. "Justice has to be served. When I say justice has to be served -- five years is not justice for taking someone's life."

Chambers is due back in court in January.

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