Woman charged in Endia Martin killing calls prosecution ‘vindictive’

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vandetta.jpg

Vandetta Redwood faces federal charges
related to the fatal shooting of 14-yeare-old Endia Martin in 2014. | Police photo

First, Vandetta Redwood refused to testify against a relative facing murder charges for the fatal 2014 shooting of 14-year-old Endia Martin.

Then Redwood found herself under federal indictment less than two weeks later, facing serious prison time for her own alleged role in Endia’s death.

Now her lawyers claim “vindictive” prosecutors have sought to punish Redwood for exercising her constitutional right not to testify, and they have asked U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve to dismiss the case.

“This action, but for Ms. Redwood’s exercise of her constitutional rights would never have occurred,” defense attorney Alison Motta wrote in a motion filed Saturday.

Redwood has been accused of supplying the loaded .38-caliber revolver allegedly used by a teenage relative to take Endia’s life. She was also charged with possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School and Visitation Catholic School.

Donnell Flora was convicted of murder and attempted murder for supplying the weapon used to kill Endia Martin. His cousin, Vandetta Brown, says she faces federal charges only because she would not testify against him.  / Cook County Sheriff’s Department

Donnell Flora was convicted of murder and attempted murder for supplying the weapon used to kill Endia Martin. His cousin, Vandetta Brown, says she faces federal charges only because she would not testify against him. / Cook County Sheriff’s Department

She dodged charges early on in connection with the murder. Redwood was accused of mob action and obstruction of justice in the days after the April 28, 2014, shooting. But Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. dismissed the case weeks later, calling video evidence supporting those charges “choppy” and “poor.”

A federal grand jury didn’t indict Redwood until Feb. 10. She is set to go on trial July 11. Her cousin, Donnell Flora, was convicted in late January of first-degree murder in Endia’s death, as well as the attempted first-degree murder of another girl wounded in the incident. Prosecutors also accused him of providing the weapon to his niece, then 14, who then used it to kill Endia in the 900 block of West Garfield.

When called to testify in Flora’s trial on Jan. 28, Redwood repeatedly invoked her constitutional right not to incriminate herself.

“The government has known of the facts and evidence supporting the pending charges but failed to act upon same for almost two years but within days of Ms. Redwood asserting her constitutional right in State court,” Motta wrote. “The timing of the indictment coupled with the facts leading thereto sufficiently show vindictiveness on the part of the government.”

Flora admitted during his trial that he gave his niece the gun before she confronted girls who had been feuding with her on Facebook. But Flora insisted he told the girl to give the weapon to Redwood, and he saw her do so. Flora’s attorney said it was Redwood who coaxed the minor to pull the trigger by commanding her to “shoot the bitch.”

Endia’s best friend, Lanekia Reynolds, was also injured in the shooting. Reynolds had been fighting with the alleged shooter on social media after the two got into a heated spat over a boy, prosecutors said.

Endia Martin was shot and killed in 2014. | Provided

Endia Martin was shot and killed in 2014. | Provided

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