Chicago Boy Killed by Gang Members Bent on Revenge, Prosecutor Says

CHICAGO—The trial of two men charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 slaying of a 9-year-old Chicago boy got underway Tuesday with a prosecutor noting the victim brought a basketball to a park while his alleged killers “brought guns.”

Dwright Boone-Doty and Corey Morgan are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Tyshawn Lee.

Boone-Doty and Morgan are being tried together but before separate juries, each of which will only consider the evidence as it pertains to one of the two.

Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Hillmann on Tuesday said Boone-Doty lured the fourth-grader into an alley by promising him a juice box and then shot him.

Hillmann noted Tyshawn hadn’t bothered to change out of his school uniform before heading to a park to play basketball.

9-year-old Tyshawn Lee
9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. (Brian Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times/File Photo via AP)

“Tyshawn brought a basketball to Dawes Park. Corey Morgan, Dwright Doty and Kevin Edwards brought guns,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Hillmann, naming the two defendants and a third man who pleaded guilty before trial.

Morgan’s attorney, Thomas Breen, tried to distance his client from the crime.

“That execution of that 9-year-old boy has to come from one singularly evil person,” Breen told jurors without naming Doty. “Not from a plan. His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan.”

Hillman said DNA linked to Boone-Doty was on the basketball that was found next to Tyshawn’s body. She added prosecution witnesses identified the two men as being in the park with the victim before the shooting.

Prosecutors allege Boone-Doty was the gunman. His attorney, Brett Gallagher, encouraged the jury to view the prosecution case with skepticism.

Thomas Breen
Defense attorney Thomas Breen makes opening statements in the trial for Corey Morgan in the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee at the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Hillmann said Boone-Doty befriended Tyshawn to gain his trust after the boy arrived at the park. Boone-Doty picked up the boy’s basketball and lured him to a nearby alley as Morgan and Edwards watched from a black SUV, she said.

“And Dwright Doty took out a .40-caliber handgun, and he executed Tyshawn in broad daylight,” she told jurors.

The third man accused in the attack, the alleged getaway driver Edwards, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.

He Had Nothing to Do With Any of This Gang Nonsense

Hillmann said Boone-Doty and Morgan, reputed members of the Black P. Stone Nation Bang Bang Gang, or BBGs, that day were looking to exact revenge for the killing of Morgan’s brother and wounding of his mother one month earlier by members of the rival Gangster Disciples Killa Ward group.

“Shooting Morgan’s mother was beyond the pale,” Hillmann said in her opening. “There weren’t many rules in this feud, but families were off-limits. They were untouchable.”

Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, is accused of belonging to the Killa Ward faction.

Morgan’s brother, Tracy, was shot and killed in a car while with their mother in October 2015, the prosecutor said.

“This made Morgan mad,” Hillmann said. “He wasn’t just mad. He was in a murderous rage, saying he was going to kill grandmas, mammas, kids and whoever he could catch.”

Margaret Hillmann
Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Hillmann makes opening statements in the trial of Corey Morgan for the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee at the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Morgan and Edwards allegedly set out to find a Killa Ward member to avenge the death, Hillmann said.

“When they couldn’t find Pierre Stokes, they found his 9-year-old son Tyshawn, a fourth-grader who had nothing to do with any of this gang nonsense,” Hillmann said.

An autopsy of Tyshawn’s body showed two perforating gunshot wounds, and part of his right thumb was lost as a defensive wound trying to block a gunshot, according to court papers. The boy’s body had a gunshot wound to the head, a bullet graze wound to his right upper back, and a superficial wound to the right forearm.

Tyshawn’s death shocked residents and authorities. John Escalante, the then-interim superintendent of Chicago police, said that even in a city that has witnessed numerous gang-related killings, the slaying of Tyshawn “was something far more sinister.”

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.