Reputed gang member gets life for Church’s Chicken murders

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Arthur Chaney was sentenced to life in prison, plus 120 years for murder and attempted murder in a shooting at a Church’s Chicken restaurant. | Cook County Sheriff’s Department

Regina Brown said her heart has been shattered ever since her son Dantril was killed at a shooting at an Englewood Church’s Chicken five years ago.

“I don’t get out much,” the cancer patient told Cook County Judge Matthew Coghlan on Thursday. “I’m crying at small things. . . . I forgive, so for me to move on, the pain of losing Dantril is painful enough.”

Moments later, Coghlan sentenced Arthur Chaney to life in prison for the murders of 17-year-old Dantril Brown and 16-year-old Jawan Ross.

The reputed gang member was also given an additional 120 years for the Dec. 27, 2011 shooting that left five others injured.

Neither Brown, a student at Prosser Career Academy, nor Ross, a student at Robeson High School, were Chaney’s intended target.

Regina Brown, 38, and Antoine Posey, 38, parents of 17-year-old son, Dantril Brown, who was killed at a South Side Church’s Chicken on Dec. 27, 2011. | Rummana Hussain/Sun-Times

Regina Brown, 38, and Antoine Posey, 38, parents of 17-year-old son, Dantril Brown, who was killed at a South Side Church’s Chicken on Dec. 27, 2011. | Rummana Hussain/Sun-Times

Ross’ family didn’t take the stand on Thursday but prosecutors gave the judge his sisters’ victim-impact statements, detailing how they have coped without their sibling.

Mia Ross was only 10 when Ross died.

“I didn’t really understand how death worked, but I knew wasn’t ever going to ask my brother for help with my homework,” she wrote in a victim-impact statement.

Dantril Brown’s sister, Queen Brown, was even younger, just 7, when Chaney’s bullets snuffed out his life.

Queen Brown said her brother taught her how to do fractions and make a grilled cheese sandwich.

“I’m 12 now,” Queen Brown wrote. “I still need him.”

Dantril Brown’s younger brother Jeremy Haymond said Dantril was the only male figure he looked up to other than Bill Gates.

Haymond said he shut down after his brother’s death. “I am still trying to enjoy life without the person who has inspired me the most,” he wrote.

Chaney didn’t care who he hurt that night when he opened fire at the fast-food restaurant at 66th and Halsted, prosecutors said.

All the Gangster Disciple was focused on, they said, was shooting Black Disciples as he jumped out of a silver SUV and fired 15 times toward his rivals.

One target — Kenny Lofton — managed to escape unharmed and another man, Terry Rush, suffered a graze wound to his right hand.

Lofton, who was in a shootout with Chaney weeks before the Church’s Chicken murders, admitted he was initially hesitant in identifying his shooter; Rush testified that he was “pushed” to identify Chaney.

Even with the pairs’ reluctance to testify, prosecutors pointed to the gunshot residue on Chaney’s jacket after his arrest and stressed how he was seen on surveillance footage getting the SUV cleaned at a car wash an hour after the shootings.

Also damning were the phone calls prosecutors presented that Chaney made to fellow Gangster Disciples, asking them to track down witnesses in order to influence his case.

Chaney, 28, was convicted by a jury last month after a four-day trial.

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