3 men accused in shooting death of 6-year-old appear in court - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

3 men accused in shooting death of 6-year-old appear in court

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(09/04/12) - The mother of Layla Jones is calling on the community to help solve her daughter's murder.

Six-year-old Layla was shot and killed last Wednesday.

Tuesday, three of the four men charged in her case appeared before a judge. A fourth man, 23-year-old Michael Lawrence, is on the run.

Police are hoping you can help put Lawrence behind bars - just like the other three men who police believe had something to do with little Layla's murder.

Twenty-one-year-old Rico Saldana, 22-year-old Levonne Greer and 20-year-old Julian Ruiz faced a judge for the first time Tuesday morning.

Watching closely was Julie Polk, Layla's heartbroken mother.

"It hurt me, because they're young. And some of the reactions from them were just so uncaring," she said.

Saldana, Greer and Lawrence are accused of killing Layla in a drive-by shooting last week. Saginaw Police believe Ruiz helped them after the murder.

From Saginaw originally, Julie Polk and her family now live in Wisconsin. They have followed the city's crime problem online.

"We'd be like, 'oh my God, and 'oh God,' that's so sad'. And now it's happening to us," Polk said.

Layla was here visiting her dad when she was killed. He was also shot, but survived.

"If she could walk up to me right now, she'd touch me right now and say, 'Mama don't cry'," Polk said.

Layla should have started first grade Tuesday. Instead, her family will lay her to rest on Thursday.

"She was just a good kid, I mean, she wanted to help everybody. She wanted to love everybody. She always had a smile," Polk said.

Julie is now focused on honoring her daughter, and on finding Michael Lawrence. His street name is 'Mills'.

"Just know that everyone that's in my circle, if we did the same thing, or saw the same thing, we would come forward for them. I don't run by the street code of being scared or, you know, I'm only scared of one person and that's God," Polk said. "I'm not going to stop coming here because somebody was so stupid to fire into a crowd and not even know who you were firing at."

Layla's middle name of 'My'Angel' now has an even more significant meaning.

"Layla came in to this world fighting for her life. Me and her dad had decided that, that was just an appropriate name," Polk said.

Layla's fight ended far sooner than her family ever expected.

"You never think that you're going to have to bury your child, with the same name that you gave her for giving life," Polk said.

Layla's funeral is at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Greater Coleman Temple.

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