CHICAGO (CBS)—The third day of the Hadiya Pendleton murder trial was marked by tearful testimony.
The two reputed gang members on trial for the honor student’s murder watched as a friend recounted cradling the teenager in her arms in the moments after she was shot in a park in January 2013.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Record Warmth Possible Next 2 Days
Several of Pendleton’s friends who were present on the day she was killed testified Thursday. The testimony came a day after three alleged gang associates of the defendants–Micheail Ward and Kenneth Williams–all claimed they could no longer remember hearing Ward and Williams confess to the crime.
Those claims contrast statements they made to a grand jury in 2013 that Ward and Williams confessed to the fatal shooting, which occurred just blocks away from then-President Barack Obama’s home in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood.
One of Pendleton’s friends who testified as a witness at the Leighton Criminal Court building Thursday, Danetria Hudson, recounted the unusually-warm January day when her group of friends headed to the park to celebrate the end of finals.
“(We) talked among each other,” Hudson said. “It was nicely warm for January.”
Another friend in Pendleton’s group, Lazerick Bowdry, remembered someone suddenly coming out of the alley with a gun and start firing.
Witness Sebastian Moore was shot in the foot. He testified hearing a whooshing sound after seeing the gunman shooting toward them.
His friend Lawrence Sellers was hit in the leg. He said in court that he tried to “hold the blood in” after he was wounded.
Surveillance video from the park shows teenagers running for cover from the gunfire that pierced through the serenity the prep school students had been enjoying moments before.READ MORE: Illinois Department Of Employment Security Admits To Monthlong Callback Wait Times; State Rep. Says Methods Must Change
While the others escaped with injuries, Pendleton was fatally injured.
“She slumped in front of me so I stopped,” Hudson said. “I grabbed her and put her on my lap (and) tried to find the bullet wound.”
Hudson began to cry as she explained her friend would not respond at that point.
Prosecutors say Ward and Williams thought they were shooting at gang rivals.
Some of the witnesses testified today they didn’t get a clear look at the gunman. Others identified the man they thought was the shooter in a police lineup.
Another witness who took the stand late Thursday afternoon pointed at Ward and told the court he was “100 percent certain” he was the gunman.
Prosecutors claim Ward was the gunman and Williams was the getaway driver. Ward faces life in prison if convicted, and Williams faces up to 75 years. Two juries are deciding their fates separately.
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