Articles Posted in Murder

lefteris-kallergis-j1GiPlvSGWI-unsplash-copy-300x200Prosecutors say that 15-year-old Javon Wilson was shot to death over a pair of Air Jordan sneakers. According to his sister, Khaliyah Wilson, two teenagers brandishing guns came knocking on her door to recover the sneakers. The court has barred prosecutors from mentioning the fact that Javon Wilson is the grandson of 12-term congressman Danny Davis. The alleged gunmen, Tariq Harris and Dijae Banks, were 16 and 17 at the time of the shooting.

According to reports, Jeremy Murphy, another brother of the Wilsons had traded a pair of pants for the sneakers on a temporary basis. Banks had come to reclaim the sneakers but Javon Wilson would not return them without first getting the pants. The whole thing went sideways when Khaliyah Wilson attempted to kick the boys out. The argument turned into a fist fight and eventually, one of the boys pulled a gun and fired at Javon Wilson. The bullet entered into his neck where it struck an artery. The boy died there.

What Will Happen to These Boys?

ross-parmly-rf6ywHVkrlY-unsplash-copy-300x199Friends and family of Andrew Warren reported him missing to authorities. No, he was not the victim. He was one of the co-conspirators who murdered 26-year-old Trenton Cornell-Duranleau. Warren had left his home in England so abruptly, that friends and relatives had no idea what had happened. But the man had allegedly flown across the pond into the U.S. to act out a horrible sex fantasy with Northwestern professor Wyndham Latham. 

Now, Warren has taken a deal to testify against Latham in exchange for a 45-year recommendation from prosecutors as to a sentence. If this sounds like a good deal to you, consider the fact that Warren is 58 years old. 

Understanding the Crime

max-bender-wJx-K1b7ZLI-unsplash-copy-240x300City officials are holding Lyft responsible after one of their drivers karate kicked a taxi driver, causing his death. The driver, Fangqi Lu, had previously been “deactivated” after punching one of his own customers in the face. The same driver then picked up a job driving for Uber weeks later during which he committed the fatal assault against Anis Tungekar. 

In this case, city officials are slapping Lyft with a fine for failing to disclose to authorities that one of their drivers committed an assault against a passenger. They are further alleging that had Lyft reported the crime to city officials, it would have prevented the death of Tungekar.

The city’s early warning system is aimed at weeding out violent drivers, but Lyft faces significant liability issues in an assault case. Lyft may have been attempting to avoid a hefty payout by failing to report the incident. Now, Lyft may face one lawsuit for the assault and another one for wrongful death.

simon-migaj-423321-unsplash-copy-300x200Brendt Christiansen told police that he murdered 13 people. Police do not believe him. Police believe that Christiansen did, however, murder Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar, and that this could have led to other murders had they not caught him. Police were able to turn Christiansen’s girlfriend against him and got her to wear a wire. He described how he murdered Zhang and then went on to tell her that he murdered 12 other people. His girlfriend, Terra Bullis, asked Christiansen if he thought he might be the next successful serial killer and Christiansen told her that he already was and that Zhang was “number 13.”

Police say that Christiansen lured Zhang away from a bus stop and then forced her into his apartment where he raped, beat, and stabbed her. 

Christiansen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Yingying Zhang. 

pepe-nero-88205-unsplash-copy-300x200The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the daughter of an Arlington Heights couple has been charged in the murder of her parents. According to police, Deborah Jane Martin stabbed her father and his wife to death multiple times a few hours after they had dinner with neighbors. Police appear to have recovered a journal in which the woman alludes to wanting to kill her parents. According to police, the journal contained multiple references to carrying out the murder including one as recent as six days before the incident.

Police also have a phone call from Anne Martin to 911 in which she sounds like she’s saying “No, Debbie” and the murder weapon was found in Deborah Jane Martin’s bedroom. The woman is being charged with first-degree murder.

How to Defend a Case Like This

mingyue-sun-153025-300x169A police video leaked on social media shows the murder of 24-year-old Brittany Hill while she shielded her baby from gunfire. Hill was exiting her sedan when a silver Chevy Impala pulled up alongside her, the occupants exited the car and then proceeded to open fire. The video was taken from a nearby surveillance camera. Hill was taken to West Suburban Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Two men have been charged in the shooting death.

While the police are calling the video’s release “unauthorized,” there are a number of reasons why a leak like this jeopardizes the men’s chance at a fair trial and benefit the prosecution’s case against them. The police claim that they have opened an investigation to determine the source of the leak.

jaron-nix-1451678-unsplash-copy-225x300Michael Bailey was about to retire when prosecutors say that Antwon Carter attempted to steal the Buick he had bought himself as an early retirement present. Police say that Bailey attempted to defend himself, but Carter fired back. After Bailey’s wife, Pamela, heard the shots, she ran down the stairs and found her husband lying with his eyes open on the ground. He later died at the hospital.

While Bailey was off duty, he had just finished his shift and was still wearing his uniform when the altercation took place. The crime went unsolved for a year until inmates claim that Carter bragged about the shooting. The case is now a decade old.

Carter is being charged with felony murder, among other things.

samara-doole-259144-unsplash-copy-200x300The body of 2-year-old Kirien Knox was found dismembered in Garfield Park Lagoon. The shocking details of the slaying moved those who witnessed the photos to tears. The man charged with the murder, Kamel Harris, has pleaded not guilty.

According to the prosecution, the boy’s mother, Lanisha Knox, left her son with Harris and five others at an apartment while Knox headed out to set up a new life in Iowa, get jobs, and find an apartment. At some point, Harris stopped responding to calls or texts made by Knox.

Police and the prosecution believe that, at some point, Harris “snapped” and murdered the boy and then tried to dispose of the body. However, they did not list a cause of death. They did, however, indicate that Harris snapped because the boy cried incessantly after a “painful reaction to milk.”

annie-spratt-1141166-unsplash-copy-200x300As evidence mounts against the parents of AJ Freund, the media frenzy around the case casts a shadow over the possibility that the Freunds will get a fair trial. According to police, the boy’s father Drew Freund told police that he “beat” the boy and administered cold showers as punishment. The police also indicated the father led investigators to the boy’s body in a remote location in Woodstock.

Physical evidence against the father continues to pile up. This includes a shovel, soil samples linking the shovel to the burial site, muddy shoes that could link the father to the burial site, and a search he performed on his phone concerning how to perform CPR on a child.

Police Have Begun Trying This Case in the Press

josh-calabrese-527813-unsplash-copy-300x200In most courtrooms, you will note the image of Lady Justice who carries scales and is blindfolded. This carries the connotation that justice or the criminal justice system should be (but is not) blind to prejudice and other characteristics of the baser intellect. No better (nor ironic) evidence of this fact can be shown in the case of a black teen who was given 76 years on the word of a legally blind witness.

How did this happen? Well, let us take a look.

First, you have a defendant who is wearing an orange jumpsuit. Second, you have a compliant witness who probably could not pick the defendant out of a lineup but nonetheless could pick out an orange jumpsuit. Then, the prosecutor asked the witness if he could identify the man who shot two people, killing one and wounding another. The witness identified the man in the orange jumpsuit.

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