A trial is scheduled to begin for two suspected gang members in Illinois who allegedly gunned down the 9-year-old son of a rival gang member on November 2, 2015.
Dwright Boone-Doty, 22, who is representing himself, and Corey Morgan, 27, are being tried together but before separate juries for the first-degree murder of Tyshawn Lee. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the men approached Lee at Dawes Park and started a conversation with him before offering to buy him a juice box. Instead, the pair allegedly led Lee to a nearby alley—and fatally shot him several times at close range.
Reverend Michael Pfleger, the priest who presided over Lee’s funeral mass, told AP that he found the slain boy’s body near a garbage can and the basketball he was playing with moments earlier. The news outlet reported that part of the 9-year-old’s thumb was shot off as he shielded himself from the barrage of bullets that struck him in the head and back.
“It was one of the most evil things I’ve ever seen,” the priest commented.
Boone-Doty and Morgan are suspected members of the Bang Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones, who at the time were feuding with the Killa Ward faction of the Black Gangster Disciples, which Lee’s father, Pierre Stokes, 25, was allegedly affiliated with.
Prosecutors believe the 9-year-old’s murder was revenge for an October 13, 2015, shooting by Stokes’ gang which killed Morgan’s brother and wounded his mother.
On October 18, a few days after Morgan’s brother was killed, Boone-Doty shot into a car apparently occupied by Stokes—killing a 19-year-old woman who was sitting next to him. Boone-Doty has also pleaded not guilty for that murder.
Boone-Doty is also accused of writing a rap song commemorating the 9-year-old’s slaying.
“Shorty couldn’t take it no more,” he reportedly said in the song, apparently referring to the young victim as “shorty.”
Stokes is currently incarcerated, waiting to stand trial for allegedly shooting three people—including Morgan’s girlfriend—the same day prosecutors revealed that his son’s accused killers had planned to also torture the boy by cutting off his ears and fingers, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Further, prosecutors charged that the defendants initially planned to kill Lee’s grandmother, the Daily Mail reported.
Last week, the getaway driver, Kevin Edwards, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence. The Tribune reported that Edwards was arrested in connection with Lee’s slaying in May 2016, accused of dropping Boone-Doty and Morgan off at Dawes Park, where they accosted the 9-year-old.
Further, three key witnesses were jailed last week, and prosecutors have issued a warrant for a fourth witness, as the men’s trial approaches. Judge Thaddeus Wilson called for their arrests in August after they didn’t respond to subpoenas related to the murder case, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
One of the subpoenaed witnesses reportedly includes an 18-year-old man who was 14 at the time of the shooting. Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Darman said they recently tracked down the man to a South Side high-rise building, where they discovered him hiding in a closet underneath a pile of clothes, the news outlet reported.
Jury selection is expected to begin on September 13.