2nd teen accused in deadly Lyft driver shooting in Dayton to be moved to adult court

A judge approved the transfer of a second teen’s case to adult court in the deadly shooting of Lyft driver last year in Dayton.

The teen, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was facing murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, grand theft and tampering with evidence charges in Montgomery County Juvenile Court. He has not been indicted in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court as of Thursday morning after the transfer of the case to adult court.

The Dayton Daily News is not naming this juvenile pending the filing of formal adult charges.

While considering the teen’s transfer, Judge Helen Wallace wrote the court considered if there is enough time to rehabilitate him within the juvenile system, if he is mature enough to be transferred and the results he’s had in any previous programs in the juvenile system.

“Since being detained on the underlying charges in this matter, the youth has been described by detention staff as ‘manipulative’, while noting that he has ‘become a ring leader that stirs up conflict,’” read court documents.

He also reportedly threatened staff and told a youth specialist he would “smoke her ass and (another youth) like he did the Uber driver.”

Two juvenile court doctors completed phycological evaluations of the teen. Dr. Laura Fujimura determined he was not amenable to treatment in the juvenile system, and Dr. Barbara Bergman reported he could make significant progress through programs.

Fujimura noted the teen started receiving services when he was 8 and that his behaviors have escalated in severity and volume, according to court records.

“Dr. Fujimura concluded that the youth’s proactive aggression leads to a high risk of re-offending, and that the youth has not been receptive to services,” the court documents read.

However, Bergman claimed the teen doesn’t have a sophisticated “criminal attitude” but immature judgement and poor impulse control and has been negatively influenced by his peers.

“Dr. Bergman believes the youth has been receptive to treatment and believes the youth has made progress in his treatment in detention, while noting that ‘he has a long way to go in treatment,’” according to court records.

On Wednesday, Wallace filed the approval to transfer the teen’s case to common pleas court.

The teen is one of two boys accused of shooting and killing 35-year-old Brandon Cooper during a robbery on Jan. 26, 2022. The teens reportedly used the Lyft rideshare app to lure Cooper, a Lyft driver, to the area before they attempted to rob him.

Dayton police found Cooper shot in the back after the vehicle’s OnStar system reported a possible crash.

The teens were also suspects in an armed robbery involving a different Lyft driver earlier that morning.

The pair were arrested with two other teenagers later that day following a SWAT standoff in Dayton.

The second teen, 16-year-old Da’Trayvon Mitchell, previously had his case transferred to common pleas court. He was indicted for murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, grand theft of a motor vehicle, discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises and tampering with evidence.

Mitchell’s defense attorney, Lucas Wilder, requested a competency evaluation for Mitchell in March. Judge Dennis Adkins approved the motion and the court determined in May that Mitchell was competent to stand trial, according to common pleas court records.

Cooper’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Lyft, as well as both teens, alleging the rideshare company was negligent and caused Cooper’s death by failing to enact safety measures that would protect drivers.

Lyft filed a motion to dismiss in March. Judge Mary Wiseman has not made a ruling regarding the motion as of Thursday.

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