EXCLUSIVE: 13-year-old killed in Phenix City died the day of his father’s birthday

News Leader 9 also spoke with a local attorney about the Stand Your Ground law, after the suspect in this case claimed self-defense.
Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 3:02 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2023 at 3:28 PM EST
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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - NOTE: News Leader 9 originally reported the child was 12 years old, per sources. However, Russell County District Attorney Rick Chancey and the victim’s mom clarified his age as 13.

We’re learning even more details about what happened Wednesday night when a 13-year-old was killed in Phenix City. In an exclusive interview, Connor Mullins’ mom talks more about the night her son was killed in a backyard. We also sat down with a local attorney who discussed property owner’s rights.

During the interview, she talked about what her children were doing in that backyard the night of the shooting. She also says the day he was killed, they were celebrating his father’s birthday.

Connor Mullins’ mom, Chrstina Holloway, says she’s having a hard time coming to grips with how her 13-year-old son was killed Wednesday night in Phenix City.

Holloway disputes the suspect, 50-year-old Tywoana Jakes’ claim that she fired in self defense, saying she was shot at first.

“There was no gun. There was never another gun. My kids don’t -- I don’t own a gun,” said Holloway.

She adds, investigators tested both of her son’s hands for gun residue and DID NOT find any.

“She said she was protecting the property. You start by protecting your property by taking care of the things on your property. That house is falling apart,” Holloway adds.

Holloway says while walking to the nearby Dollar General, Mullins and his brother Devan ended up in the backyard of an abandoned home on Windtree Drive near U-S Highway 80 West.

While playing, she says the two accidentally broke a car window on the property. Moments later, Holloway says Connor was shot while his little brother Devan ran for his life.

“What are the real facts? That’s obviously something that seems to be in debate right now,” said Brandon Snellings, a Columbus attorney, though not involved in this case, talked about the Stand Your Ground law, passed in 2006.

“If you feel like your imminent threat of violent injury or crime is about to be committed, like burglary of your home, you generally are presumed to be within your rights to use deadly force,” Snellings explained.

But, he says that right is disregarded if a child is involved.

“If they were not actually on the property and they were somewhere else, you get into a whole different analysis instead of facts. There can be a reckless element there,” Snellings adds.

As the case proceeds, Mullins’ mom says she hopes Jakes pays for what she did, saying, “I don’t want this to be someone else’s child. But my heart goes out to her family as well as my family. This is just a bad situation. I wish she wouldn’t have done what she done.”

To clarify, if the defense proves someone was harming Jakes or about to harm her, the shooting will be justified under the Stand Your Ground law.