Homeowner Shoots Teen, but Murder Charges Go Elsewhere

5 teens charged because police say they were committing a burglary at time of shooting
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 11:27 AM CDT
5 Teens Charged With Murder They Didn't Commit
Diamond Davis   (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Five Illinois teens are charged as adults with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 14-year-old—despite not touching the trigger. The deceased was fatally shot in the head by a homeowner in Old Mill Creek who described an attempt to steal a 2011 Audi from his driveway around 1:15am Tuesday, reports ABC News. According to police, the 75-year-old homeowner told the suspects to leave, then fired at least three shots from his porch as two individuals approached, one with "something in his hand." All suspects took off in a 2015 Lexus SUV reported stolen two days earlier, leaving behind a knife, before encountering officers three miles away, police say, per NBC Chicago. A 17-year-old "calling for help" was arrested, while the 14-year-old was whisked to a hospital where he died. The remaining suspects allegedly led police on a chase until the SUV ran out of gas.

Those suspects were detained after a brief foot chase, police say. A 16-year-old, three 17-year-olds, and 18-year-old Diamond Davis—each from Chicago and held on a $1 million bond—are now charged with first-degree murder as they were "in commission of a forcible felony" when their friend was shot, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. In Illinois, a person can be charged with murder if a death occurs during the commission of a serious crime, even if there is no intent to kill. But at least one person wants that to change. "This provision, known as the felony murder rule, is unjust" and "downright shameful" when applied to children, writes Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton. If the suspects did intend to commit a burglary, they "deserve to be held accountable," she says, not "charged with a murder they did not commit." (More first-degree murder stories.)

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