The trial has begun for two Chicago gang members accused of luring 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee into an alley. He went after being promised snacks and a juice box. The gangsters then killed the boy in an execution-style slaying.
Dwright Boone-Doty, 26, and Corey Morgan, 31, are facing first-degree murder charges for the November 2015 slaying. The case has generated national attention and is seen as a sign of the rising violence in Chicago, a city in which a number of young victims have died although they were very rarely intended as targets. As NBC News reported, the current case has generated shock in the city known for its shootings, with many gang members stating that slaying of the innocent boy has crossed the line.
Prosecutors say that Lee was targeted because his father was believed to have been involved in the shooting death of a rival gang member. In the trial, prosecutors said that the targeting of the fourth-grade student seemed to violate the rules of the streets.
“There weren’t many rules in this feud, but families were off limits. They were untouchable,” prosecutor Margaret Hillmann said in opening statements this week.
The men are being tried together but with separate juries. Prosecutors say the two coordinated on their plans to kill the young boy, with Boone-Doty approaching Tyshawn and playing with a basketball the boy had with him. Then, he lured the boy into an alley with his false promises. As Morgan watched from a parked car, Boone-Doty shot the boy several times at point-blank range and then left him to die, prosecutors said. As the report noted, the boy’s basketball was found a few feet away from his body.
Getaway driver Kevin Edwards has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges and was given a 25-year sentence, which was at the lower end of the 20- to 60-year sentencing guidelines had he been convicted at trial.
The boy’s slaying attracted national attention at the time, leading Chicago police and local politicians to speak out against it. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said it was one of the worst cases he had seen in his entire time on the police force.
“Tyshawn Lee was murdered in probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing,” McCarthy said after the boy’s slaying, via ABC Chicago. “We’re pretty certain that this is not an accident. He was not a bystander.”
The murder trial in Chicago is expected to last for a few weeks. If convicted, both Dwright Boone-Doty and Corey Morgan face up to 60 years in prison.