Second man charged in 7-year-old girl’s murder held without bail
Davion Mitchell, 22, allegedly opened fire, killing Natalia Wallace on July Fourth. Two other men, who are brothers, are still being sought by authorities.
A second man charged with murdering a 7-year-old girl in a shooting at a Fourth of July party in Austin was ordered held without bail Wednesday.
Davion Mitchell, described by his attorney as a local rapper and religious man, is one of three gunmen who opened fire, killing Natalia Wallace and wounding a 32-year-old man believed to be the intended target, Cook County prosecutors said.
Mitchell is the second man charged in the deadly shooting in the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue. Two men — brothers, ages 28 and 30 — are still being sought by authorities.
Prosecutors said they have high-quality video surveillance footage that shows the faces of the three shooters and witness identification of 22-year-old Mitchell. But defense attorney Nicole Massarello said there was little evidence connecting her client to the shooting. Massarello also cited Mitchell’s lack of criminal history in asking Judge David Navarro to set bail.
Mitchell works full time as a local rapper and is “a very religious man” who volunteers at church, Massarello said. He is also the father of two girls.
“He takes care of his family with money from that [rap] work,” Massarello said.
Navarro said while the information presented by Massarello might make Mitchell unlikely to be a flight risk, he was also weighing other factors in reaching his decision, including “what can only be described as a hail of gunfire” the other alleged shooters unleashed on a group of playing children.
“Accordingly, I believe you pose a threat to the safety of the community, and it is my order that you are held without bond,” Navarro said.
Mitchell is facing first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm charges.
Last week, 33-year-old Reginald Merrill was charged in connection with Natalia’s murder after police identified him as the driver who pulled up near the crime scene and waited while the shooters got out and fired more than 20 rounds in the direction of the family party.
The shooting is believed to have stemmed from a gang-related conflict tied to the June 29 murder of the brother of the two unidentified shooters.
The same group of men shot up an alley in the block days before the shooting that killed Natalia, prosecutors said.
In social media posts, some of the alleged shooters can be seen together, some of them armed, prosecutors said. Cellphone records also show the men allegedly discussing blacking out car windows and obtaining weapons for the shooting.
“Ya’ll thought you were gonna celebrate the Fourth of July, huh?” one of the uncharged suspects wrote in a Facebook post, prosecutors said.
Natalia was struck in the forehead and was pronounced dead shortly after she was transported to Stroger Hospital.
The man who was wounded showed up at Mount Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to his ankle.
Mitchell is expected back in court on Aug. 3.