The defendant hasn’t been named because she was 14-years-old when...
INTERNATIONAL.- A Chicago teenager who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting another 14-year-old girl in a street fight in 2014 that escalated from a Facebook feud over a boy will be eligible for parole in April next year. The teen, who turns 19 next month, struggled to hold back tears as she tried to read a statement during her sentencing hearing Wednesday.
She eventually handed her handwritten statement to her attorney to read. “Nothing I can say will mend your hearts,” she acknowledged in her statement, addressing the family of her victim, Endia Martin. “I pray that one day you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.”
The defendant hasn’t been named because she was 14-years-old when the shooting occurred and was charged as a juvenile.
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Endia’s mother, Jonie Dukes, sat quietly in the courtroom with her husband throughout the hearing. In a statement read by the prosecutor, Dukes told Judge Stuart Katz about the day she walked into her daughter’s hospital room and saw her daughter “not breathing.”
She wondered: “Where was the smile everybody was used to seeing? It wasn’t there.” The teenage defendant was handed a mandatory sentence of at least five years in custody, and she can’t be held beyond her 21st birthday. With the time she has already served, she will be eligible for parole next April and can’t be held beyond July 2020.
The teen also pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in the wounding of Lanekia Reynolds, the girl she had intended to fight the day she killed Endia. The case came to symbolize how the gun violence that plagues parts of Chicago passes from one generation to the next.
The girl was given the firearm by an adult who knew the cost of gun violence as well as anyone: an uncle who has been in a wheelchair since he was shot in 2010.