Family of teen accused of killing father feels other people need - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Family of teen accused of killing father feels other people need to be investigated

FOX19 NOW/Jessica Brown FOX19 NOW/Jessica Brown
HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) -

The family of the Hamilton 14-year-old charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of her father said they feel like other people need to be investigated. 

Court documents state Mariah Ponder retrieved a firearm, loaded it and shot her father in the head in an attempt to kill him.

She was arrested in February shortly after calling 911 about and telling a dispatcher: "Can somebody come and put me in handcuffs? ... I just shot my dad," according to a recording of the call. 

When Hamilton police responded to the family home on Millvale Avenue, they said they found her father, James Ponder, 71, shot in the face.

He was alive when he was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital in an ambulance and then flown via AirCare to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, police said. He succumbed to his injures at UC Medical Center. 

Investigators called the shooting an "isolated domestic situation."

She is expected to be released soon as her $300,000 bond has been paid, according to family. Her sister Angelique Phipps feels releasing her from juvenile detention is a step in the wrong direction.

"It's not like she will be monitored everyday or she is not going to see friends. She is still my sister I love her dearly, but she still killed my father and I don't think that we should have to live in this prison and she gets to go home," she said. 

James Ponder Jr., Mariah's brother, visited her while she was locked up, but was not allowed to talk about their father's death.

"It was very hard. I wanted to be there for her, but at the same time I am sitting across from the person that took my dad away," he said. 

James said Mariah and their father had a very normal relationship. He said  there was never any abuse of any kind. They never saw this coming and they struggle daily with their father's death at the hands of their sister. 

"I feel our family lives in this prison everyday. I think it's been a hurricane of our own. for the last six months. Don't know which way to go... don't know how to feel about it," James said. 

The family all has one common thought they all share.

"I very much feel there are others that need to be investigated," James said. 

Her family said there wasn't supposed to be any gun in the house, and they believe it came from a close relative. 

"The very bothersome thing is that no one else has been talked to by the Hamilton Police Department. They took the 911 call and said, 'hey - open and shut,'" James said. "Mariah did not buy the gun. It did not belong to her."

They also believe that same relative influenced her in killing their father and police should be arresting and charging them as well. 

"I didn't want to see her shoot my dad in his sleep," Phipps said. "I think it would have been easier if something happened... maybe that he did spank her and she got mad and they tussled over something. But for her to just walk in there and shoot him while he was sleeping, she should be held accountable as well as whoever else has influenced her."

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