Crime: Teen charged in East Chicago shooting of 11-year-old mulling plea deal, attorney says - - PressFrom - US
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CrimeTeen charged in East Chicago shooting of 11-year-old mulling plea deal, attorney says

21:35  21 may  2019
21:35  21 may  2019 Source:   chicagotribune.com

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Teen charged in East Chicago shooting of 11-year-old mulling plea deal, attorney says© Lake County Sheriff's Department

A teenager charged in the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy at an East Chicago park a year ago is still mulling a possible plea deal, his attorney said.

In April, attorneys said they were considering a plea deal for Sherquell Magee, 18, of East Chicago.

Magee was charged in Lake Superior Court with murder, attempted murder and attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon in the death of David Anderson. Prosecutors also added a use of a firearm enhancement to the case.

Anderson was shot May 5, 2018, at Nunez Park in the 3700 block of Elm Street after a fight broke out between two groups of juveniles, according to court records.

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Anderson had been at the park that day playing basketball, his family said. He was standing in a gazebo when he was struck in the head by a bullet from the nearby fight, court records show. Anderson died May 6, 2018, at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Prosecutors charged Magee, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, as an adult.

Magee appeared Tuesday morning in Lake Superior Court for a hearing to see if he decided to take a plea deal offered by prosecutors.

“I have to help my client make some tough decisions,” John Cantrell, Magee’s attorney, said.

Cantrell asked for a couple of weeks to continue to go over the deal with his client.

Magee is scheduled to appear in court again June 11.

After Anderson died, roughly 100 people gathered at a vigil in East Chicago chanting, "Long live, David!" Anderson was on the honor roll at George Washington Elementary School, and he loved playing basketball and eating noodles, his mother, LaTanya Anderson, said.

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In November, Judge Samuel Cappas denied a request from the defense to release Magee on bail. His decision came after a hearing where prosecutors played video of the fight that led to the shooting.

Cantrell said that Magee's actions "were arguably infinitely more reckless than intentional" and claimed Magee acted in self-defense.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Chris Bruno argued that Magee "acted in a totally unreasonable manner" when he escalated "what was a juvenile fist fight into a homicide" and killed "an innocent bystander.”

Magee wrote a letter to Cappas in January asking him to reconsider bail in his case.

"I ask god everyday for forgivness (sic) because I am still young," Magee said. "Everybody do make mistakes and accidents do happen, but that's all apart of life. Your honor I'm not a bad kid, I'm just a child who grew up without a father, so it was kind of hard growing up."

"I never planned on seeing myself in jail. I wanted more for my life and being a criminal in the eyes of the community was not apart of my plan," he said.

LaTanya Anderson said she saw no remorse in Magee's letter.

"He never once mentioned he was sorry for killing my baby," LaTanya Anderson said.

rejacobs@post-trib.com

Twitter @ruthyjacobs

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