No one ever accused the five Illinois teens of actually killing their 14-year-old alleged accomplice in a tragic August burglary. The question was: Would they face a felony murder case in his shooting death by the homeowner? That question was answered on Thursday. The Illinois State’s Attorney for Lake County announced that the felony murder charge will be dropped. He said his office reached an agreement with the defense lawyers of the teens involved in the August 13 incident.
“The circumstances and facts outlined in my statement support the charge of Felony Murder,” State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim said in a statement. “However, after full consideration of all the evidence, mitigation presented by defense counsel as well as the wishes of the victim’s family, my office has entered into an agreement with defense counsel for the five offenders. This agreement ensures all offenders will be held responsible and face appropriate sentences.”
Prosecutors say the 14-year-old Chicago boy, 18-year-old Diamond Davis, and four other teens arrived at the scene at about 1:15 a.m. on August 13 in their bid to commit several vehicular burglaries. A 75-year-old homeowner got up after seeing headlights in his driveway, and confronted them with his handgun, said authorities. He announced his presence, and told them to leave, but he saw one of them holding an object, and he fired his gun in fearing for his life, said the state’s attorney. He was trying to scare them away, but one of the bullets struck the 14-year-old, said authorities.
The teens fled in a stolen vehicle, but were later apprehended. Cops said they found a 10-inch hunting knife on the driveway, and a cell phone featuring GPS coordinates of other local homes.
Davis is expected to plead guilty next week to class-4 felony conspiracy to commit burglary and class A misdemeanor of criminal trespass, said the state’s attorney. The case of the four other teens is moving to juvenile court, where the felony murder charge will be dismissed. Nerheim said he couldn’t give more information about those cases going forward because of laws over juvenile courtroom proceedings.
[Image via Lake County Sheriff Office]