(Sun Times Wire) Cook County jurors Wednesday found a 20-year-old woman guilty of the 2017 murder of the teenage grandson of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.
The jury of three women and nine men deliberated for less than two hours before reaching a verdict on murder and home invasion charges against Dijae Banks, who was 17 when she was arrested two years ago for the murder of 15-year-old Javon Wilson.
Javon was shot inside his Englewood apartment when he tried to break up a fight that began when Banks arrived at the house and demanded the return of a pair of Air Jordan sneakers she had swapped for a pair of pants with Javon’s 14-year-old brother.
Banks’ co-defendant, alleged gunman Tariq Harris, was tried in front of a separate jury, Closing arguments in his case are set to begin Thursday morning.
Prosecutors said it was Banks who brought the gun that Harris fired at Javon, and instigated the fight over the shoes by forcing her way into the apartment that Javon shared with his three siblings, mother and uncle. Harris had picked up the pistol, which was never recovered, when Banks got into a fight with Javon’s older sister, Khaliyah Wilson.
When Javon traded punches with Banks as he tried to pull her apart from his sister, Wilson said Banks turned to the gun-wielding Harris and asked, “You’re going to let him do me like that?” Harris responded by firing a single shot that struck Javon in the neck, prosecutors said. The teen fell to the floor, and died in the living room.
Assistant State’s Attorney Mary McMahon made the case that Banks was as much to blame for Wilson’s death as if she pulled the trigger, having gone to the second-floor apartment intent on getting back her pricey sneakers, forcing her way inside and almost immediately threatening Javon’s sister with the pistol before setting the weapon aside.
Lawyers for the two defendants had portrayed the shooting as a tragic accident, and said that the pair had been friends with Javon and his siblings. McMahon pointed out that Harris and Banks fled immediately after Wilson fell to the ground, bleeding, and that Banks was wearing the Jordans when she turned herself in to police the next day.
“Who sees a young man dying on the ground and runs out with shoes?” McMahon asked. “The sad thing is, this case is not about shoes. It was for defendant, but really what it’s about is human life… and what came between this defendant and what she wanted.”
Harris took the witness stand Wednesday, the sole witness put on by either defendant. Now 19, Harris said that the gun went off as he went to pull Wilson and Banks apart, and that he considered Javon a friend.
“(The shooting) hurt me, because it was my friend,” Harris said, speaking softly. “It wasn’t somebody in the street. Is was somebody I was close to.”
Article Org: Chicago.suntimes.com