Detectives take the stand as men accused in killing of Hadiya Pendleton stand trial
CHICAGO – The trial of two men charged in the killing of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton continued for its second week Monday in Chicago, with detectives involved in the case set to take the stand.
In 2013, Pendleton had just returned from performing with her high school band at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration when she was shot and killed in a Chicago park.
Defendants Michaeil Ward and Kenneth Williams are accused of opening fire on Pendleton and her friends as they walked through Harsh Park. Police testified they had 15-25 tips in this case, and that Ward was identified in a lineup by multiple eyewitnesses. There was also testimony that Ward confessed to a friend after the shooting.
A forensic scientist testifying Monday said the getaway car allegedly used in Pendleton’s shooting tested negative for gunshot residue. The jury was shown video of that car, which police say belonged to Ward’s mother. Police say it sped away from the park right after Pendleton was killed.
Also expected is testimony from key witness and veteran Chicago police detective John Halloran. Halloran has been named in numerous lawsuits alleging he bullied or beat suspects into false confessions. Those lawsuits have cost the city more than $7 million.
In this case, it was Halloran who got a confession from Micheail Ward, then 18, after the teenager spent two days in police custody. Ward confessed to the shooting in a taped interview, where he says he felt pressured by Williams to shoot into the park.
More than four hours of taped interrogation is expected to be played for the jury. Ward’s lawyer claims her client’s confession is not true, but police fed him a story to parrot back.
Prosecutors say both defendants were members of the “Terror Crew,” and Pendelton and her friends unknowingly wandered into a feud between two South Side gangs.