CHICAGO (CBS) — Prosecutors are showing jurors the videotaped confession of the accused gunman in the 2013 slaying of honor student Hadiya Pendleton.
Cook County prosecutors have rested their case against the alleged getaway driver, Kenneth Williams, and are now wrapping up their case against accused gunman Micheail Ward with what might be their strongest evidence, his own words.
Defense attorneys made a last-ditch objection asking the judge not to allow Ward’s videotaped interrogation to be shown to jurors, arguing police coerced and manipulated Ward into a false confession, but the judge overruled their objection.
Ward was questioned on and off for 23 hours after he was taken into custody in connection with Hadiya’s shooting in 2013. It’s unclear how much of that interrogation prosecutors plan to show the jury.
Ward confessed to shooting Hadiya during that interrogation, but later recanted.
His lawyers also have stressed there is no physical evidence linking him to the shooting.
Police and prosecutors have said Ward shot at Hadiya and a group of her friends at Harsh Park in January 2013, after mistaking them for rival gang members.
Two separate juries were seated for the trial, as Ward and Williams are offering competing defenses. Williams’ jury will not see Ward’s confession.
On Monday, Hadiya’s mother took the stand, and emotionally recalled the worst phone call of her life, when a friend of her daughter called to tell her Hadiya had been shot.
Also Monday, prosecutors called Illinois State Police forensic scientist Mary Wong to the stand. She testified swabs of the alleged getaway car tested negative for gunshot residue, but she also explained the nearly two-week gap between the shooting and the suspects’ arrest might explain the lack of residue.
Prosecutors might wrap up their case against Ward on Tuesday if they finish showing jurors his confession.