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Man charged with murder of 14-year-old boy in Back of the Yards

Robert Morales | Chicago Police

A man who accidentally shot himself over the weekend has been charged with the murder of a 14-year-old boy in the South Side Back of the Yards neighborhood in May.

Robert Morales, 26, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to Chicago Police.

Morales fatally shot 14-year-old Leonardo Betancourt at 6:34 p.m. May 2 in the 4500 block of South Ashland, according to police.

Leonardo was in the back seat of a vehicle heading north when the other people in the car heard gunshots and realized he had been shot in the back, police said. The driver took the teen to a firehouse a block north in the 4400 block of South Ashland.

Leonardo, who lived in the 4500 block of South Hermitage, was then taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:34 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said.

Morales implicated himself in the murder after he accidentally shot himself in the arm about 4 p.m. Saturday at his home in the 4500 block of South Fairfield, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

He was ordered held on a $2 million bond in court Monday, and is next scheduled to appear in court July 29, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.