Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder trial for two men accused of killing 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee execution-style in Chicago in what prosecutors allege all began over a gang war.
The fourth-grader was playing basketball in November 2015 when prosecutors say he was lured away from a playground with a juice box, then shot at close range in an alley in broad daylight. His basketball was found just feet away.
"Tyshawn brought a basketball to Dawes Park...Corey Morgan, Dwright Doty and Kevin Edwards brought guns," Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Hillman said.
Prosecutors began their statements by saying Morgan and Boone-Doty - who sat in their dress clothes and listened quietly as attorneys described in detail the day Tyshawn was brutally murdered - had a clear motive to kill the child. But the defense in the case questioned the credibility of witnesses and evidence and argued the jury should put its sympathies and prejudice aside.
"This was a heinous crime. The murder of Tyshawn Lee was a senseless tragedy and it shocked the collective conscious not just in Chicago but across the country," said public defender Brett Gallagher. "Because of that, the reality of this crime, there was a lot of pressure on the Chicago Police Department- pressure to restore order quickly, to make an arrest and to close this case and to make the pubic feel safe again."
The trial is a double-jury trial, meaning Boone-Doty and Morgan will be tried together but before separate juries, with witnesses testifying only once and each jury only considering evidence as it pertains to the individual defendant.
Authorities allege Boone-Doty was the gunman and Morgan planned the killing to retaliate against Tyshawn's father for a shooting that killed Morgan's brother and wounded his mother.
Prosecutors say Boone-Doty lured Tyshawn into an alley near 80th Street and Damen Avenue before shooting him multiple times as Morgan watched from a nearby SUV.
A third man accused in the shooting, alleged getaway driver Kevin Edwards, pleaded guilty earlier this month in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
During the trial, jurors are expected to learn about how the gun used led to the arrest of the two men, and will hear from witnesses who were near the scene as well as Boone-Doty's alleged confession, captured on undercover recordings to another inmate at Cook County Jail.
Sitting in the courtroom Tuesday, was Tyshawn's family, some of whom wore t-shirts with the young boy's final fourth-grade photo.
"It all hurts," said Tyshawn's grandmother Theresa Wilson. "Just brings it all back."
The first day of the trial also saw one witness called to the stand - a detective who recounted the facts from the shooting that led to Tyshawn's death and killed Corey Morgan's brother.