Jurors in Illinois have convicted two gang members of murder in the execution-style killing of a 9-year-old boy, who was shot in 2015 in an act of retaliation against his father.
Late last week, following separate trials that lasted three weeks, 25-year-old Dwight Boone-Doty and 31-year-old Corey Morgan were found guilty in connection with the death of Tyshawn Lee.
Two juries determined that Boone-Doty and Morgan deliberately targeted Tyshawn as he was making his way home from school, luring him into a Chicago alleyway with a promise to buy him a snack before killing him.
The jury for Boone-Doty, who was identified as the gunman, rendered its verdict last Thursday after three hours of deliberation. The jury at Morgan’s trial deliberated for nearly 10 hours before finding him guilty Friday afternoon.
“We hope that this verdict brings some measure of closure and peace for the family of Tyshawn Lee, whom we will never forget,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Even at a time when we’ve become nearly numb to headlines about violence, this case shook us to our core.”
During the trial, prosecutors argued that the murder of Tyshawn was an act of retaliation against the boy’s father, who the suspects believed was involved a shooting that killed Morgan’s brother and wounded his mother. Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, has not been charged in connection with that shooting.
However, months after Tyshawn’s killing, Stokes was arrested and accused of shooting three people, including Morgan’s girlfriend. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
Prosecutors said Boone-Doty and Morgan approached Tyshawn in a park, convincing the boy to follow them into an alleyway where they promised to buy him a snack.
At some point, prosecutors said, Boone-Doty pulled out a gun and shot the boy point-blank multiple times before leaving him to die.
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During the trial, jurors heard a secretly-recorded confession captured during a conversation between Boone-Doty and an informant.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Boone-Doty described the murder in the audio. “I’m looking at him. We walking. Bop. Hit the ground. Bop-bop-bop-bop-bop. I’m laughing. I’m looking … Bop bop bop bop bop, man.”
Both men face life behind bars when they are sentenced. No dates for their sentencing have been set.
Lawyers for both men could not be reached Monday.