Reporting Mike Puccinelli
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The attorney for a 17-year-old Chicago student who allegedly stabbing a classmate to death earlier this week says the accused killer was acting in self-defense.
Christian Gonzalez was ordered held without bond Saturday when he appeared on a charge of first-degree murder. He allegedly killed fellow student Chris Wormley, 17, and injured another student with a knife Thursday morning at Infinity High School on the Far South Side.
Gonzalez’s family declined to talk with reporters after the court appearance at 26th and California, but the youth’s attorney, Kent Delgado, says Gonzalez was provoked and acted in self-defense.
“This is an at-risk kid. He has a learning disability. He’s on medication. He’s been suffering from hallucinations, and he was being bullied at school,” Delgado said.
He said Wormley started the fight by punching Gonzalez in the head. Delgado says Gonzalez was so scared of Wormley that he had stayed home from school for weeks just to avoid him.
“Right before this incident happened, he was struck in the head,” Delgado said. “It’s a tragic case, it’s very sad, but those are the facts.”
Wormley’s aunt says that’s not true — and hearing the claims infuriated her.
“That’s all that is is an attorney attacking to make Chris seem like he was some kind of monstrous person, which he was not. He was not violent,” Shirley King told CBS 2.
The victim’s cousin says Chris, at 290 pounds, may have looked intimidating but he was far from fearsome.
“He was a big teddy bear. Pretty much he stayed in the house, played video games,” Tyran Wormley said.
They say Chris actually feared going to school and had to be forced by his mother to attend class on the day he died. Tyran Wormley says that makes the slain teen’s mother feel even worse.
The judge on Saturday ordered that Gonzalez be given medication and be sent to the Cook County jail’s hospital wing.
Delgado says the teen has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is bipolar.
Meanwhile, funeral services for Wormley have been set for Friday at Sunrise Baptist Church on South Central Park. The family has asked for help with burial expenses, and contributions are being accepted at Chase Bank locations.
Checks can be made out to Chris Wormley Fund.