CHICAGO (STMW) — The first time Lapoleon Colbert was questioned about his involvement in a fracas near Fenger High School that left a 16-year-old dead, he denied being part of the swarm of fighting boys, police said.
The second time, when a Chicago Police detective showed him the already-famous videotape of the fatal beating on 111th street involving planks and bottles and sticks, he couldn’t find himself in it.
But the third time, Colbert admitted to Sgt. William Sullivan that the tape did show him, in a black shirt and jeans and backwards cap, kicking Derrion Albert in the head on Sept. 24, 2009, then stomping him, then jumping onto his torso in a territorial feud between kids living near the school in Roseland and those bused in from Altgeld Gardens.
Why kick a kid who’s already down? Sullivan asked him on the tape made in January 2010 when Colbert was arrested.
“Guess in the heat of the moment, tired of everything going on,” Colbert replied.
Colbert, 20, is charged with murder in Albert’s death, accused of causing Albert’s death while taking part in a mob action. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled his death a homicide, saying he died of multiple blunt force traumas to his head.
Jurors heard prosecutors’ entire case Tuesday, featuring seven live witnesses, including one to show jurors a long rough plank prosecutors believe was used to hit Albert, and videos taken of the fight and Colbert’s interrogations. The defense is expected to complete its case Wednesday.
Four others have already been convicted in Albert’s beating, caught on videotape in which Albert is seen trying to defend himself as he’s hit again and again near Fenger. One still awaits sentencing. Most of the same witnesses appeared again Tuesday.
At day’s end, Colbert’s attorney, Michael Clancy, tried to have the case thrown out, repeating to Judge Nicholas R. Ford what he’d already argued to jurors during opening statements: Colbert was not part of any mob action, since he wasn’t part of the ongoing fight between kids who lived around Fenger, 11220 S. Wallace St., and kids who bused in from Altgeld Gardens near 130th Street. And Albert himself taunted kids from the Gardens, Clancy said.
Colbert only delivered a kick to Albert’s head after the fight, Clancy said.
Ford denied his motion, saying Colbert accepted the consequences of what the mob did as soon as he joined them.
“He’s not a non-participant,” the judge said, “he’s a late participant.”
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