CHICAGO — Opening statements began Monday in the trial of a man accused of murdering a 7-year-old girl in Chicago’s North Austin neighborhood on June 27, 2012.
Heaven Sutton would be 14-years-old had she lived. Seven years have passed since the shooting that took her life.
Her mother Ashake Banks dressed head to toe in her daughter’s favorite color pink for the start of the trial of the man accused of killing her daughter.
Jerrell Dorsey seen here in his mug shot appeared in court minus his dreadlocks and wearing glasses.
Heaven’s older brother Malik Ellis was among the first to take the stand Monday. He recalled the night of shooting and said “it all happened so fast.” He told jurors he saw two people come out of a gangway, one with a gun who started shooting.
15 bullets were fired that night, police said. One hit a 19-year-old man in the ankle, another hit Heaven in her back, traveling thru her heart and lungs, ending up in her arm. She died an hour later.
Heaven had been playing with other kids outside on a hot night in June of 2012, near a candy stand her mother had set up in front of their apartment building in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue. Police believe the gunman was firing at rival gang members when the girl was hit.
About a month after the shooting, Ellis identified Dorsey as the shooter from a police line-up. He said he was standing about 10 feet from the gunman, but he said he never got a good look at the other person with the shooter.
The other man who was shot that night, Marquice Monore also took the stand. He denied much of what he told police that night about the shooting, including the description he gave of the gunman, which matched other descriptions given by witnesses that night.
His old brother Antwan Monore followed him on the stand. He claimed he didn’t remember details he gave police, an assistant state’s attorney and a grand jury about the shooting, including identifying Dorsey as the shooter he saw running away from the scene. Antwan Monore also denied picking Dorsey out of a line-up.
The second person who prosecutors say was with Dorsey the night of the shooting has not been charged. There has been no reason given for that, but he’s expected to be mentioned frequently during the trial. . The defense in its opening statements claimed there is no physical evidence connecting Dorsey to the shooting including no DNA and no gunshot residue.
The trial is expected to wrap up by Thursday.