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On eve of trial, alleged gunman in Tyshawn Lee murder decides not to represent himself

Two weeks ago, Dwright Boone-Doty said he didn’t want an assistant public defender and would serve as his own lawyer.

Dwright Boone-Doty is set to go to trial next week for the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee.
Dwright Boone-Doty is set to go to trial next week for the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee.
Cook County sheriff’s office

Two weeks after ditching his court-appointed attorneys, the alleged gunman who is accused of killing 9-year-Tyshawn Lee has decided not to represent himself.

With jury selection set to begin Friday, Dwright Boone-Doty Thursday told Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson he would need the services of lawyers from the public defender’s office. Boone-Doty late last month told the judge he would serve as his own lawyer, citing no reason for his break with the team of three attorneys who had handled the case for the last several years.

Prosecutors said Boone-Doty in November 2015 lured Tyshawn from a playground at Dawes Park to a nearby alley and shot the fourth-grader multiple times, killing the boy to avenge the death of the brother of his co-defendant, Corey Morgan, who was gunned down by members of a rival gang.

Boone-Doty and Morgan’s trial is expected to last into October, with separate juries for each defendant, and days of expert testimony on complex DNA analysis. After the judge quizzed Boone-Doty about his knowledge of forensic science and criminal law — the high school dropout, said he had been reading Black’s Law Dictionary in the jail. Wilson initially denied Boone-Doty’s request to represent himself.

The judge relented a few days later, demanding that prosecutors turn over thousands of pages of pretrial discovery materials — with Boone-Doty getting thick stacks of documents. Wilson also had insisted that a lawyer from the public defender’s office serve as “standby counsel” to advise Boone-Doty during the pretrial hearings and at trial.

Wilson also has repeatedly asked Boone-Doty to reconsider his decision to represent himself. On Wednesday, the 24-year-old defendant seemed to hedge after getting another inches-thick stack of documents.