Murder charges have been dropped against a group of five Chicago teenagers after a shooting during an attempted car theft in the northern suburbs Lake County, Illinois, that ended in a high-speed chase and left a 14-year-old dead last month, CBS Chicago reported.
Lake County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in Old Mill Creek for a report of an attempted vehicle theft around 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 13.
The 911 caller, a 75-year-old homeowner on West Edwards Road, said that he shot at the people attempting to steal his car after he came out on his porch and noticed people in his yard.
Authorities said that six teens—18-year-old Diamond Davis, three 17-year-old boys, a 16-year-old boy, and 16-year-old Jaquan Swopes—were in a Lexus reported stolen two days earlier out of Wilmette.
According to Sgt. Chris Covelli, a public information officer for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the homeowner was armed with a handgun, he owned lawfully, walked out to investigate. Two of the boys quickly approached him as he stood on his porch, one of them had something in his hand.
The homeowner fired several shots, one of which struck Swopes. He then called 911 immediately and requested an ambulance for Swopes, but the teens fled the scene in the stolen Lexus SUV.
A “Bowie-style” knife was later found at the scene, authorities said.
The five teens then left the wounded 14-year-old with police in Gurnee who was handling an unrelated traffic stop.
Gurnee police, Illinois State Police, and Lake County Sheriff’s deputies then pursued the Lexus, resulting in a high speed chase that ended just after 2 a.m. in Chicago.
According to the state’s attorney’s office, the chase only stopped because the vehicle the teens were in ran out of gas.
The five teens were charged as adults with murder during the course of a felony because Swopes was killed during a burglary, authorities said.
An agreement has been reached with the attorneys for them after a consideration of the evidence and the wishes of the victim’s family, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Diamond Davis, of Chicago, under a plea agreement, will appear in Lake County court Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors will dismiss the murder charge against her, and she will be formally charged with felony conspiracy to commit burglary and a misdemeanor criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. She is expected to waive her preliminary hearing then plead guilty to the two charges next week.
The cases against four other teens involved will move to juvenile court, and their murder charges will be dismissed. Prosecutors said that they cannot provide further details about the charges against those four going forward because of their age.
Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim said that the initial murder charges did fit the crime according to state statue, but he “exercised discretion in this case.”
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