Gunman gets 90 years for Tyshawn Lee murder, accomplice gets 65 years
Even in a city where children are frequently caught in the crossfire of gang violence, the apparent targeted killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn shocked residents of the city in the fall of 2015.
A Cook County judge Wednesday sentenced the man who shot and killed 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee to 90 years in prison and handed a 65-year prison term to his co-defendant.
Triggerman Dwright Boone-Doty, 25, bowed his head as Judge Thaddeus Wilson read off the sentences. Co-defendant Corey Morgan, 31, who previously turned down a plea deal that called for a 25-year sentence, stood stoically beside his lawyers. Seated in the courtroom in front of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Tyshawn’s mother, Karla Lee, wept.
Even in a city where children are frequently caught in the crossfire of gang violence, the targeted killing of Tyshawn shocked the city in the fall of 2015. Tyshawn’s body was found in an alley across the street from Dawes Park, just a few doors down from the Auburn-Gresham home where he lived with his mother and grandparents. His basketball lay a few feet away.
Prosecutors at trial argued that the fourth-grader was killed in revenge for the murder a few weeks earlier of Morgan’s brother, Tracey Morgan, by members of the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples. Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Darman said Tracey Morgan’s murder “poured gasoline” on the long-running the feud between Killa Ward and the defendants’ Bang Bang Gang faction of the Black P-Stones.
Before handing down the sentences Wednesday, Wilson noted the string of back-and-forth killing that had come in the years and weeks before Tyshawn was killed, and paraphrased a remark Corey Morgan made in front of a witness about how the shooting that had claimed his brother’s life and wounded his mother had made even “grandmas, mamas, babies and all” legitimate targets in gang warfare.
“Where does this stop? Where does this mind-numbing, senseless violence stop?” Wilson said. “It stops with grandmas, mamas, and innocent children trying to play at a public park. Grandmas, mamas, kids and all are not fair game, and they matter to us.”
In conversations recorded by a jailhouse informant, Boone-Doty described stalking Pierre Stokes — Tyshawn’s father and purported rival — and spotting Tyshawn at the park on a November afternoon. Boone-Doty said he lured the boy away from the basketball court by taking away his ball, then offering to buy him candy, luring the boy into an alley.
“I’m looking at him. We walking. Bop. Hit the ground,” Boone-Doty said, describing the shooting in one recorded conversation. “Bop-bop-bop-bop-bop. I’m laughing. I’m looking ... Bop bop bop bop bop, man.”
Boone-Doty’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Danita Ivory, had argued at trial that her client’s braggadocio was not based on facts, but was just an attempt to impress the informant, a high-ranking gang member. Wednesday, she asked Wilson to consider Boone-Doty’s childhood in an impoverished, fatherless home.
Boone-Doty is awaiting trial for the murder of 19-year-old Brianna Jenkins in an allegedly gang-related shooting days before Tyshawn was killed.
Stokes is also awaiting trial on attempted murder charges for allegedly opening fire on a group of people that included Corey Morgan’s girlfriend in 2016. That shooting took place just hours after Corey Morgan and Boone-Doty were charged with Tyshawn’s murder.
Boone-Doty opted not to speak before Wilson handed down his sentence Wednesday. Corey Morgan also remained silent.
Karla Lee smiled as she spoke to reporters in the courthouse lobby.
“I am happy about the outcome. I’m happy about the sentence. I’m not too happy about [Corey Morgan’s] sentence,” she said. “That’s what the judge determined, but I’m happy that he’s probably not going to ever get out.”