Man acquitted of shooting and paralyzing teen

SHARE Man acquitted of shooting and paralyzing teen

4-8-10 A man has been charged with shooting 14-year-old Chicago Public School freshman Danny Gilmore Tuesday morning on the West Side -- leaving him possibly paralyzed. Antonio Simpson, 18, of the 2100 block of South Grove Street in Berwyn, was charged with one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, according to police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer. STM WIRE REPORT / CPD MUGSHOT

A Berwyn man was acquitted this week of shooting and paralyzing a teenage boy after videotaped evidence presented in court confirmed that the assailant was someone else, the west suburban man’s attorney said Thursday.

Following a daylong bench trial Wednesday, Cook County Judge Joseph Kazmierski Jr. ruled that prosecutors did not prove that Antonio Simpson wounded then 14-year-old Danny Gilmore as he made his way to school on the West Side last spring.

Steven R. Decker said footage from a currency exchange near the 5600 block of West Chicago was key in helping clear his 20-year-old client’s name.

The gunman caught on the recording was wearing a black hoodie and black gym shoes as he fired away on the spring morning in 2010, Decker said.

Simpson was wearing khakis, white gym shoes and a white jacket when he was arrested a mere five minutes after Gilmore was shot.

“It was a classic case of misidentification,” Decker said, adding that gunshot residue was never traced on Simpson’s body.

“The videotape was beyond helpful.”

Gilmore had just stepped out of a convenient store after buying juice and chips with his friends when bullets struck him in the shoulder, back and buttocks. The paralyzed teen testified from his wheelchair Wednesday, adamant that Simpson – a man he had seen in the neighborhood – shot him as he headed to Douglass Academy High School, Decker said.

The Good Samaritan who called 911, tailed Simpson for four blocks and pointed him out to officers, also stuck to his story, Decker said.

When he heard the not guilty verdict, Simpson had a “tremendously huge smile on his face, from ear to ear,” Decker said.

Neither Gilmore nor his relatives could be reached for comment.

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