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Tyshawn Lee murder ‘act of savagery and treachery’

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante speaks at a news conference Tuesday about charges being filed in the Nov. 2 slaying death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. | Teresa Crawford/Associated Press

Tyshawn Lee was playing on a swing set in the park like any fourth-grader when a stranger walked up and grabbed his basketball.

The man dribbled a few times, handed the ball to the 9-year-old and asked if he wanted to go to a store.

And in a decision that is every parent’s nightmare, the little boy followed the man from Dawes Park into an alley near his grandmother’s South Side home. The man faced him and shot him in the right temple — execution-style.

Those were the harrowing allegations that Cook County prosecutors made Tuesday during a bond hearing for Dwright Boone-Doty, a 22-year-old gang member accused of killing Tyshawn to get even with his rivals.

Prosecutors said Boone-Doty originally planned to torture Tyshawn and cut off his fingers and ears — and kill the boy’s grandmother.

Boone-Doty, who was charged on Monday with Tyshawn’s Nov. 2 murder — and an earlier shooting that left a woman dead and a man wounded — was ordered held without bail.

An informant secretly recorded Boone-Doty making incriminating statements about the fatal shootings, sources said.

Boone-Doty was already in the Cook County Jail on a separate gun charge. An inmate agreed to wear a wire after telling authorities that Boone-Doty bragged about shooting Tyshawn, the sources said.

Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old murder victim. | Photo provided by Karla Lee

Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old murder victim. | Photo provided by Karla Lee

Boone-Doty had laughed about the shooting, saying he “seen that bitch go in his head,” prosecutors said, adding that he was writing a rap song in jail that mentioned the killing.

“It’s hard to accept,” Boone-Doty’s mother, Michelle Doty, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You don’t think I would try to do all I could to turn my baby around?”

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez called the child’s killing “among the worst I’ve ever seen in my 30 years as a prosecutor.” And Interim Police Supt. John Escalante said: “I have never witnessed such an act of savagery and treachery.”

Two other men have already been implicated in Tyshawn’s murder. On Nov. 27, Corey Morgan, 27, of Lansing, was charged with murder, and police have a warrant for the arrest of a third suspect, Kevin Edwards, 22.

Tyshawn, Brianna Jenkins and Deshari Bowens were victims of a gang feud over the murder of Tracey Morgan, 25, authorities said.

On Oct. 13, Morgan, a parolee, was shot to death and his mother was wounded after they left a police-sponsored meeting intended to resolve gang conflicts.

His brother Corey Morgan allegedly vowed to target “mothers, grandmothers babies and all” because his brother was killed and his mother was shot.

Corey Morgan and Boone-Doty — members of the Bang Bang Gang faction of the Black P Stones — were gunning for rivals in the Killaward faction of the Gangster Disciples, who they believed were responsible for Tracey Morgan’s death, prosecutors said.

On Oct. 18, Jenkins, 19, and Bowens, 20, were sitting in a car about 4:30 p.m. in the 7800 block of South Honore when they were shot, police said. Jenkins was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Friends drove Bowens to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition stabilized. Boone-Doty said he went to the hospital to finish off Bowens, but was unable to do so, prosecutors said.

Boone-Doty allegedly said he didn’t know who was in the car before he opened fire, but he thought Bowens was a rival because he shouldn’t have been parked on that block.

Tyshawn was shot about two weeks later, on Nov. 2, because of his father’s ties to the Killaward gang faction, police said.

Boone-Doty and Corey Morgan were arrested on gun charges on Nov. 16. Police stopped their car in Evergreen Park and found a loaded .40-caliber handgun in Boone-Doty’s waistband. A loaded .45-caliber handgun was in a duffel bag, police said.

Lab tests showed one of the guns was used in Jenkins’ killing, prosecutors revealed Tuesday.

Escalante said the spiraling cycle of gang violence that claimed Tyshawn’s life is all too common in the city, but the grade-schooler’s murder marked a chilling break even from the bloody norms of Chicago’s gang warfare.

“The murder of Tyshawn Lee was something far more sinister. This was a targeted assassination by Dwright Doty, Kevin Edwards and Corey Morgan,” Escalante said. “Tyshawn was an innocent child betrayed by these three men. Sadly, he paid the ultimate price for gang violence, senseless gang violence, that plagued his neighborhood.”

Boone-Doty was on parole when he allegedly killed Tyshawn, authorities said.

He was sentenced to five years in prison in July 2013 for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and drug possession in downstate Sangamon County, prison records show. Officers had found a stolen handgun under the seat of a car he was in. They also found cocaine on him.

He was paroled in August 2015, three months before Tyshawn was lured into the alley in the 8000 block of South Damen and shot to death.

Boone-Doty is the father of three children, ages 4, 3 and 6 months, an assistant public defender said. Before he was jailed, he worked for his father’s construction company and his grandfather’s landscaping business, his attorney said.

Boone-Doty completed 10th grade and has a certificate in technology.
He appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit. A group of deputies stood behind Boone-Doty while prosecutors detailed the horrifying allegations against him.

Despite sunny skies and temperatures that reached into the 70s on Tuesday, there were few visitors to Dawes Park, where Tyshawn had been playing on Nov. 2.

“Probably a lot of people are still afraid to bring their kids to the park,” said Korey Baker, who sat on a jungle gym with his girlfriend as their 10-year-old clambered overhead.

“I came to this park growing up. It’s a shame. It’s like people don’t respect children anymore. Chicago’s getting to be a bad place,” said Baker, a security guard.

Baker lamented that Tyshawn’s death forced him to share some hard truths with his young son.

“I told my son, ‘There are monsters out there. You have to listen to mommy and daddy.’ I was sorry to have to tell it to him like that, but I don’t want him to think we live in some dream world.”