Police: 5 charged in failed car theft admitted other crimes
WAUKEGAN, Ill. -- Five teenagers charged with murder after an alleged attempt at car theft in suburban Chicago ended with a sixth teen fatally shot admitted they were out to commit burglaries, Lake County authorities said Wednesday.
The teenagers allegedly involved in the incident early Tuesday in Old Mill Creek led police on a 50-mile chase in a stolen vehicle to Chicago after a 75-year-old man fatally shot a 14-year-old outside his home. The man, a licensed gun owner, has not been charged with any violations or crimes.
The wounded teen and another one of the defendants were dropped off at a Gurnee accident scene. The 14-year-old was pronounced dead after being transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Authorities say Diamond Davis, 18, and four juveniles were charged with first-degree murder because the unidentified 14-year-old died of wounds sustained during the commission of a forcible felony. The five appeared in bond court Tuesday afternoon. Bail was set Tuesday in Lake County Circuit Court at $1 million each. The four younger teens who are not being named by The Associated Press because they are juveniles, are being held in juvenile detention.
Lake County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said based on the investigation, it is believed the teens were in Lake County to commit "vehicle thefts."
"Interviews with the defendants indicated they have previously stolen vehicles and were in Lake County to steal property," Covelli said.
Covelli said while processing the stolen SUV used by the suspects, evidence technicians recovered property believed to have been stolen in a "smash and grab" car burglary in Chicago. Authorities say they also recovered a Bowie-style knife from the vehicle.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said Wednesday factors in the decision to charge the defendants as adults included the seriousness of the incident and prior criminal history of the defendants, some of whom he said have spent time in the Juvenile Department of Corrections.
Nerheim said age is taken into consideration both at the time charges are filed and when the cases are eventually resolved.
The Lake County Public Defender's office said they were representing the five suspects, but would not offer any other comment on the cases.