CHICAGO (CBS) — Corey Morgan, the third person charged in the brutal murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was found guilty by a jury Friday afternoon.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos was in the courtroom and has the story.
Morgan showed no visible reaction as the verdict was announced at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Morgan faces up to 100 years in prison at sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
Jury finds Corey Morgan guilty in the 2015 murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee.
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) October 4, 2019
The jury deliberated a total of nearly 10 hours over parts of Thursday and Friday before reaching the verdict. Eight hours into the deliberations, the jury asked if they could have a dictionary to look up the term “abet,” but the judge said “no dictionaries go back, ever.”
A separate jury convicted Morgan’s co-defendant, Dwright Boone-Doty, of first-degree murder on Thursday in Tyshawn’s death. It took that jury just about three hours to convict Boone-Doty. He faces up to life in prison at sentencing.
“We hope that these verdicts bring some measure of closure to the family of Tyshawn Lee for his horrible death,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Thomas Darman said. “They are understandably upset, but understandably happy about the verdicts, and hopefully they can move on.”
Morgan’s attorneys maintained his innocence after the verdict, saying prosecutors didn’t present any evidence of a conspiracy to kill Tyshawn, much less that Morgan was part of one.
Attorneys for both Morgan and Boone-Doty essentially pointed the finger at each other for Tyshawn’s murder during trial, with Boone-Doty’s team essentially arguing Morgan was the one with motive to kill Tyshawn, and Morgan’s lawyers effectively claiming Boone-Doty pulled the trigger alone.
“There wasn’t any evidence in the case about a common plan or a scheme. There wasn’t any evidence of that at all,” he said. “There was just no evidence of a concerted plan, or any kind of scheme that multiple people were involved in.”
Pugh said he believes the jury that convicted Morgan likely was swayed by “the emotionally charged nature of the crime itself.”
“It was a difficult case, and it’s the type of case that we knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” he said. “The jurors being allowed to hear everything about gang membership, and tattoos, and everything about the violent gangs and the history of the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. Put all of that on the line, and it made it very difficult I think for the jurors to be able to see the facts in the light that we would have liked them to.”
Pugh said it’s likely Morgan will appeal the guilty verdict.
Tyshawn’s murder garnered national headlines because of the brutal nature of his death.
Tyshawn was shot multiple times and killed in an alley in what police and prosecutors called an act of revenge of 2015. Prosecutors said Tyshawn was killed because Boone-Doty and Morgan believed the boy’s father belonged to a rival gang they blamed for fatally shooting Morgan’s brother and wounding his mother.
The fourth grader, still wearing his school uniform, had headed to a park to play basketball.
Prosecutors have said Boone-Doty, Morgan, and a third man — Kevin Edwards — plotted to kill Tyshawn because his father was a member of a rival gang they suspected of killing Morgan’s brother weeks earlier.
Police and prosecutors said both shootings stemmed from an ongoing gang war between the Terror Dome faction of the Black P-Stones and the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples.
Morgan and Boone-Doty spotted Tyshawn playing basketball at Dawes Park at 80th Street and Damen Avenue on Nov. 2, 2015, according to police and prosecutors.
Tyshawn put down his basketball and began playing on the swings at the park, and Boone-Doty walked up to him and offered to take him to the store and buy him anything he wanted, prosecutors said. Boone-Doty then allegedly lured Tyshawn into a nearby alley, where he allegedly shot Tyshawn multiple times at close range.
Authorities have said Boone-Doty admitted his role in Tyshawn’s death and said when he shot the boy, he “seen that bitch go in his head.”
“This was a targeted assassination,” acting Chicago Police Supt. John Escalante said at the time. “These are calculated killers whose actions define the words brutality and cowardice.”
Edwards, the getaway driver, pleaded guilty to murder in September in exchange for a 25 year sentence. Edwards had faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted.