CHICAGO (AP) — A man who bought the gun that was later used in the 2015 slaying of a 9-year-old boy who was lured into a Chicago alley with a promise of a juice box was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison.
Anthony Morgan, 32, was sentenced on a federal gun trafficking charge after he admitted in a plea deal with prosecutors to buying at least seven firearms from a straw purchaser in New Mexico and giving them to his brother and other Chicago gang members.
A gun Morgan bought was later used in the killing of Tyshawn Lee.
Lee was playing in a park on the city’s South Side on Nov. 2, 2015, when prosecutors contend he was approached by Dwright Boone-Doty, who promised to buy the boy a juice box. Once they got into an alley, prosecutors said, Boone-Doty shot Tyshawn several times in the head.
Boone-Doty and two other men, including Anthony Morgan’s brother, Corey, were charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors said the boy was killed because he was the son of a rival gang member.
“In nearly 30 years of policing, I have never witnessed such a hateful act of treachery and savageness toward an innocent child whose life barely had the chance to flourish,” John Escalante, then-interim Chicago Police Superintendent, told reporters at the time. “Sadly, (Tyshawn) paid the ultimate price for gang violence, senseless gang violence.”
Prosecutors noted that the other guns that Morgan supplied to gang members were used in other shootings that left at least three people injured in 2015 and one person dead in 2016.
After Morgan apologized in court Tuesday for supplying guns to men he called friends and brothers, U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle issued a strong rebuke.
“This is a total failure to accept the reality of the situation,” the judge said, before forcing Morgan to admit that the people he called friends and brothers were gang members.
The trial for the three men charged in Tyshawn’s slaying is scheduled to begin next month.