Juvenile now charged with first-degree murder in September stabbing of Elgin teen in Schaumburg
Prosecutors charged a 17-year-old boy as a juvenile with first-degree murder Monday in connection with the Sept. 28 fatal stabbing of an unarmed Elgin teen during a fight in Schaumburg.
The decision was a reversal of that made in the days immediately after the death of 18-year-old Manuel Porties Jr.
Then, the Cook County state's attorney's office had not only deemed evidence insufficient to file charges of its own but also dropped the Schaumburg Police Department's own misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of a weapon in the stabbing that had been recorded by a bystander's cellphone video.
But the state's attorney's office approved the murder charge Monday and authorities took the teen into custody for a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Because of his juvenile status, authorities did not release his name or other identifying information with the charge.
Schaumburg investigators had argued for the murder charge early in the case and never ended their efforts, Police Chief Bill Wolf said.
"We continued to work the case and produce additional evidence for the state's attorney's office to consider," Wolf said.
"I am grateful that the continued diligence and investigative work of our detectives helped to bring justice for the Porties family," he said separately in a statement.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx also released a statement on the filing of the murder charge.
"The Schaumburg detectives and the Cook County Assistant State's Attorney's collaboration on this case is an example of the system working effectively to bring justice for the Porties family and the people of Cook County," Foxx said. "We are incredibly grateful for the thoroughness and dedication of the Schaumburg Police Department."
The victim's father, Manuel Porties Sr., said the news of the murder charge came as a big relief after what had seemed to him the absence of any consequences for his son's death.
"I'm ecstatic," Porties Sr. said. "It's a shame we had to fight for justice. It's a shame it had to take 1½ months."
But he said he was content that justice had occurred "on God's time" rather than at the speed he had wished himself.
Schaumburg police said officers responded to a 911 call about 6 p.m. Sept. 28 regarding two people fighting on the 600 block of Sturnbridge Lane. They arrived to discover Porties Jr. suffering from multiple stab wounds. By that time, the other teen had fled, police said.
Officers and paramedics performed lifesaving measures at the scene, but Porties Jr. died at Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village.
The suspect was located the following morning, when police announced he was in custody and that the state's attorney's office was reviewing the facts of Schaumburg's investigation.
The juvenile quickly was released from custody with even the misdemeanor charge dismissed by prosecutors, police reported at the time.
Porties Sr. said the rationale for dropping charges at the time was that both teens had been engaged in "mutual combat" at the time of his son's death.
But he said he learned himself that the other boy had been stalking his son and taunting him on social media.
He said he believed the state's attorney's office had misinterpreted his son as an equal aggressor in the fight based on an incorrect assumption that there was more than what was captured by the bystander's video.
Porties Sr. said his son and the other boy had once been part of the same group of friends, but they had been at odds for months before the stabbing.
Though Porties Sr. said he learned that a fight between the two had been agreed to, no weapons were to be used, he said. Even those present -- including the person who recorded the fight -- did not spot the knife until it was too late, he said.