Tipped by a Cook County Jail inmate, Chicago police investigators picked up a recent parolee who revealed that two reputed Gangster Disciples had admitted shooting honor student Hadiya Pendleton, 15, after mistaking her group for rival gang members, the Chicago Tribune reports in the first detailed account of how police cracked the high-profile case. Using the threat of a return trip to prison as leverage, detectives persuaded the parolee to reveal the names of other gang members who could corroborate his account.
By late Saturday night, Michael Ward and Kenneth Williams were arrested on their way to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a strip club. Yesterday, prosecutors laid out their case against the two, providing a glimpse at the motivation and consequences of gang violence in 2013 when many shootings are the result of turf battles among factions of the same street gang. The strongest evidence n court was an alleged video-recorded confession by Ward, whom police identified as the gunman. Investigators acknowledged that the weapon used in the slaying has not been found, and prosecutors made no mention of any significant physical evidence tying either suspect to the shooting.