Second Man Held in Girl's Murder Released without Charges

Victim's mother was surprised police released the suspect in custody

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sutton was helping her mother sell candy to neighborhood kids at a stand set up outside their home the night of June 27 when two men approached the group and began shooting.

    A second person arrested for the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Heaven Sutton has been released without charges, a police spokesman said Saturday night.

    “I’m surprised,” Sutton’s mother, Ashake Banks, said Saturday night. She said police had not notified her of the person’s release.

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    On Friday, the same day Sutton was laid to rest, police confirmed the suspect was held at Area North headquarters but no charges had been filed. Officials gave few additional details as to why or when the person was released.

    A West Side gang member has already been charged in her shooting and was denied bond during his hearing. Jerrell Dorsey, 26, is charged with one count each of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.

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    The second offender still remains at large.

    Banks believes the offender was the suspect police had in custody.

    “They are wrong to release that boy,” said Banks. “He killed my baby. ... He dropped her in a black hole and put dirt over her.”

    Sutton was helping her mother sell candy to neighborhood kids at a stand set up outside their home the night of June 27 when two men approached the group and began shooting. The young girl was shot in the back and taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead less than an hour after being shot.

    Her death raised questions about police effectiveness against gangs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was visibly upset over Sutton's death during a non-related press conference while answering a reporter's question about his gang strategy.

    Police said the investigation is ongoing.