3 Teens Charged with Beating Death of ‘Innocent Bystander’

Annie Sweeney, Kristen Mack, Andrew L. Wang and Kristen Schorsch, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 28, 2009

Three teenagers have been charged with beating to death 16-year-old Derrion Albert, an “innocent bystander” who walked into the middle of a street fight between two groups of feuding teens last Thursday, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said the fight–with teens punching and kicking and swinging two-by-fours–was related to a shooting outside Fenger earlier that day.

Charged with first-degree murder are Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, and Eric Carson, 16, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. All were charged as adults and all were ordered held without bond today.

At the teens’ bond hearing this afternoon, a Cook County prosecutor said Albert was beaten by teens from both sides of the feud, which simmering rivalry between two groups of Fenger students, one that lived near the school and the other from the Altgeld Gardens housing development.

Police said that an amateur video helped detectives identify the participants in the melee outside the Agape Community Center, 342 W. 111th St. That video was provided to Fox affiliate WFLD-Ch. 32., which turned it over to detectives Friday night. Fox said it paid its typical freelance fee of about $300 for exclusive rights to the video.

The video shows dozens of people punching, kicking and swinging planks in a melee in a lot next to the community center and the adjacent street. At one point, four or five males–including one wielding a two-by-four–can be seen beating and stomping another person, believed to be Albert, who had fallen to the ground.

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Before the announcement of charges, Chicago Police spokesman Roderick Drew said investigators had identified several people from the video and were questioning four of them.

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