Teen murder suspect in 16-year-old’s shooting convicted of multiple crimes: court docs

17-year-old Rico Pryor is charged with murder in the Christmas morning shooting of 16-year-old...
17-year-old Rico Pryor is charged with murder in the Christmas morning shooting of 16-year-old Desire Coston, police say
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 9:48 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 1:50 PM EST

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The 17-year-old male charged with murder in the Christmas morning shooting of 16-year-old Desire Coston already has been convicted of multiple crimes and was on house arrest and probation when the gun went off, juvenile court records show.

Rico Pryor was just taken off an ankle electronic monitoring unit (EMU) on Dec. 2 by Hamilton County Juvenile Court Magistrate Ronna Lucas at the request of his defense attorney, according to his 55-page long court report of complaints that starts in 2014 when he was 10.

The attorney wanted the EMU off Pryor since the teen had successfully completed a court-ordered stay at a residential youth treatment facility.

“Probation has no objections to EMU being terminated as youth is complying with services, and transitioned to house arrest,” reads the Dec. 2 entry in Pryor’s lengthy juvenile court record of complaints. “Youth must sign house arrest rules for probation.”

In all, Pryor’s juvenile court record totals 43 charges including a 2014 theft offense and another for aggravated riot the following year.

Now, Pryor is locked up again, this time on the murder charge, at the Hamilton County juvenile detention center.

If prosecutors have their way, he won’t be leaving anytime soon and could face years in prison.

Due to his lengthy criminal record and the seriousness of the murder charge, a juvenile prosecutor said during a brief hearing Thursday the state wants this case bound over to the adult court.

A magistrate scheduled a Jan. 10 preliminary hearing before Juvenile Court Judge Melissa Powers.

Pryor’s attorney unsuccessfully urged the magistrate to release Pryor on house arrest again, this time back on another EMU.

In a year of near-record homicides due to mostly gun violence in Cincinnati, Pryor is now one of 16 juveniles facing murder charges, police confirm.

“When I spoke with him he became very emotional. He strongly denies these allegations,” Pryor’s lawyer said in court Thursday.

Cincinnati police have not said publicly why they charged Pryor with murder in Desire’s death.

The Western Hills High School student was found shot at Gateway Plaza Apartments on West Ninth Street and Central Avenue.

Officers responded to the West End building after receiving a 911 call reporting a shooting, homicide investigators say.

Desire Coston
Desire Coston(Cincinnati Police Department)

Desire was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition. She remained there until she died on Tuesday, according to the coroner’s office.

Earlier Tuesday, before Desire died, police arrested Pryor in connection with her shooting.

They charged him with one count each of felonious assault and having weapons under disability and two counts of receiving stolen property, court records show.

The receiving stolen property charges are related to two stolen 9-mm handguns recovered from the scene of Desire’s shooting, police records show.

Pryor is prohibited from having guns due to a previous felony conviction.

He also was charged with receiving stolen property earlier this year, in February 2021, and in October 2020, court records state.

The February 2021 charge involved a loaded gun as well, court records show. The October 2020 charge is related to a stolen vehicle.

Pryor was booked into the Hamilton County detention center following both arrests. After February 2021, he remained locked up there until he was ordered to complete programming at Abraxas Youth & Family Services starting on May 5, 2021, court officials state.

He was released on Oct. 28 from this program and then ordered to be placed on electronic monitoring status until Nov. 29. On Dec. 2, the EMU ended.

According to court records, some of his other convictions include:

  • Carrying a concealed weapon in 2019
  • Obstructing official business in 2018. During the pursuit of a stolen vehicle, a police record states he was a passenger who fled on foot after the vehicle was wrecked despite police commands to stop.
  • Unauthorized use of the property ( a Nintendo gaming system) in 2018
  • Five counts of criminal trespass in 2015. He was charged with entering five different stores at Glenway Crossing shopping center off Ferguson Road in Westwood.
  • Receiving stolen property under $1,000 in 2015
  • Criminal damaging and endangering in 2015. He threw rocks at a victim’s house and broke a window.

Desire had just one contact with juvenile court, other court records show.

Police tweeted out an alert about her on Dec. 3 after she ran away from her foster home on Kinney Avenue in Evanston on Nov. 27.

The teen refused to return, according to police. She texted her foster mom and said she wanted to stay with her aunt.

Desire’s relatives told FOX19 NOW on Wednesday she had returned to her foster home before Christmas.

A police spokeswoman, Emily Szink, confirmed that Thursday. She said she was not sure when Desire went back, but the investigating officer requested the runaway case be closed on Dec. 13.

Desire is Cincinnati’s 93rd homicide victim so far this year.

That’s just one killing shy of the record high 94 homicides Cincinnati saw last year.

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