Testimony Begins in Murder Trial for Pair Accused of Executing 9-Year-Old Boy Over 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 the second day of the murder trial for two men accused of shooting a 9-year-old boy point-blank in a Chicago alley in 2015, family of the young boy and multiple law enforcement officers took the stand.

Tyshawn Lee's grandmother was the first to testify, saying her grandson's last words to her were that he loved her. 

"I said, 'I love you too,'" Bertha Lee told the juries. 

Not long after, someone came to her door and took her to an alley where she saw her grandson on the ground, still in his school uniform and backpack. 

"I wanted to go across the yellow line but police said no. I didn’t need to see that," she said. 

Tyshawn's uncle also took the stand, saying he too was at Lee's home that tragic day and saw his nephew on the ground after the shooting. He ultimately flagged down police.  

"I kind of lost it because I couldn’t, I mean it ain’t seem real to me," Brian Lee said. 

Following the family were multiple Chicago officers, one of whom heard the shooting happen before he was flagged down by Brian Lee. 

“Several gunshot wounds to the head area and a substantial amount of blood on the ground," Officer Herman Otero said while describing what he saw. 

A former detective, John Murray, said there were roughly seven .40 caliber cartridge casings surrounding the child's body at the scene. A basketball lay just a few feet away, he said. 

"He was wearing a hooded jacket at the time. You could tell from the back of the hood, it appeared there were bullet holes in them," Murray said. 

The trial in the shooting death of Tyshawn Lee could take weeks after beginning Tuesday with opening statements. 

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. 

"Tyshawn brought a basketball to Dawes Park...Corey Morgan, Dwright Doty and Kevin Edwards brought guns," Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Hillman said.

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. 

Prosecutors began their statements by saying Morgan and Boone-Doty had a clear motive to kill the child, whose father was a rival gang member. But the defense in the case 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."

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.

The first day of the trial already 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. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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