Crime & Courts

Trial set for teen accused of killing college baseball player in online sales scheme

Mother of slain college baseball player speaks out

Tara Finch, the mother of Zack Finch, who was shot and killed after arranging to buy a cell phone online, talks with reporters after a court hearing for the accused killers Thursday.
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Tara Finch, the mother of Zack Finch, who was shot and killed after arranging to buy a cell phone online, talks with reporters after a court hearing for the accused killers Thursday.

A Charlotte teenager is scheduled to stand trial on Monday in the killing of a college baseball player he met after arranging to sell him a cellphone, according to police, through an app.

Jahzion Wilson is accused of fatally shooting 21-year-old Zachary Finch after that meeting, prosecutors said.

Finch was on a baseball scholarship and a year short of graduating from the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky when he went online to find a cellphone to buy in June 2017.

He thought he found one on the marketplace app LetGo, The Charlotte Observer previously reported. He was fatally shot when he went to pick up the phone on Father’s Day near Clanton Road in southwest Charlotte.

Wilson, who faces a first-degree murder charge, was 15 at the time of the shooting.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Demonte McCain, another suspect in the case, pleaded guilty in 2018 to attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. The 18-year-old McCain admitted to being a lookout during the robbery and murder. A juvenile also was charged in the killing.

The people who met Finch intended to rob him instead of selling him a phone, according to police and prosecutors.

“As far as what the victim did, there doesn’t appear to be any type of defense or fighting that led to the shooting,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Chris Dozier said at the time. “The motive here seemed to be robbery, but to have this happen and have such a disregard, for such a young person to commit this kind of crime is disturbing.”

Finch’s killing and at least 40 similar robberies that year prompted police to partner with the QuikTrip chain of convenience stores to establish “safe exchange” spots at 14 QuikTrip stores.

Wilson’s trial is to begin Monday in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Meghan McDonald, spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, told the Observer on Friday.

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