Aaron Shannon Jr was showing off his Spider Man costume. The five-year-old was in the backyard of the family home, on Halloween of 2010, when bullets came in from the alley. The little boy was hit in the head, and was declared dead at the hospital a day later.
Two juries were deadlocked on the case against the man accused of shooting the gun: 26 year old Leonard Hall Jr. Prosecutors argued that the reputed gang member had gone in the alley with co defendant Marcus Denson, and shot into the back yard, where he thought rival gang members were gathering.
The little boy's family has no gang connections, said police. Denson himself testified in the two earlier trials, claiming he was there, and pointing the finger at Hall as the shooter. Denson did take a plea deal that could earn him 25 years in prison.
Hall's attorney claimed her client wasn't even there, and that she was not able to present evidence to show that. Still, she seemed hopeful yesterday, when the jury told the judge they, like the other prior juries, were deadlocked.
The judge sent them back, and somehow, the one holdout changed his or her mind. They came back with guilty, second degree murder, with guilty also on two more counts of attempted murder for the wounding of the grandfather and uncle, who were also hit by bullets.
The family did not speak with cameras on the way out. Defense Attorney Carol Ojo expressed her disappointment, and expects that the verdict will be overturned on appeal.
Denson will be sentenced tomorrow, and Hall on July 21st.