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Mother And Son Convicted Over Melee With Police

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(Credit: AP)

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CHICAGO (STMW) — A mother and her son — who at age 8 was a suspect in the murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris — were convicted of aggravated battery to a police officer on Wednesday, charges stemming from a 2008 melee with police.

A Cook County jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday before finding Sonya Crawford and her son Elijah Henderson guilty of aggravated battery to a police officer, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

Henderson, 21, was also convicted of resisting a peace officer for the April 2008 incident, Simonton said.
Crawford, now 44, allegedly got into a fight with an officer when police converged on her South Side home. Her lawyer initially contended officers “beat and brutalized” her.

Police arrested six people, including two juveniles, at the Crawford home after the incident.

During bond proceedings, Asst. State’s Atty. Erin Antonietti said Crawford was in her home in the 8400 block of South Carpenter when police came to arrest another person. A melee ensued and Crawford “grabbed the police sergeant, and the officer fell to the ground.”

The officer suffered bruises, Antonietti said.

Police from the Gresham District were checking for seat belts at a traffic stop when a driver sped away and fled to the Crawford residence, where several subject were physically combative with police, a CPD spokeswoman said at the time.

Defense lawyer Andre Grant said officers beat Sonya Crawford’s 18-year-old son and took “the family from their home in their underwear and pajamas.” They also arrested and cuffed juveniles ages 13 and 15, injuring the 13-year-old in the process.

Police denied there were 20 officers present at the home, but said the original officers did call for backup.

Crawford and Henderson will be sentenced on 12, Simonton said.

Henderson has had a difficult history with police. As an 8-year-old, he and a then-7-year-old friend were arrested and charged with killing 11-year-old Ryan Harris — charges that were later dropped.

In the end, his family agreed to a $6.2 million settlement with the City of Chicago.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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