Falsely Accused Chicago Youth Testifies in Civil Trial


A 15-year-old boy recalled Tuesday how armed Chicago police officers yelled at him as they put a picture of 11-year-old Ryan Harris’ naked corpse in front of him before accusing him of murdering her in 1998. The boy, who was 8 years old at the time, took the witness stand for the first time since he and a 7-year-old boy were charged with the girl’s murder, reports the Chicago Tribune. His voice was barely audible in the packed courtroom where his family’s civil suit against the city and Chicago Police Detectives Allen Nathaniel and James Cassidy is being heard before a jury.

After the girl’s battered body was found in an Englewood lot on July 28, 1998, the boys became the nation’s youngest children to face murder charges. Murder charges were dropped about a month later after forensic tests found semen on underwear stuffed in Ryan’s mouth. That October, a convicted pedophile, Floyd Durr, was charged with the murder. In more than three hours of testimony, the boy only smiled a few times, including when he looked up at photos of himself at age 8 and when he was asked about his pets. The Tribune is not naming the teen because he is a juvenile.

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0508310311aug31,1,2772919.story?coll=chi-news-hed

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