April , 2019

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A man who pled guilty to murdering five of his family members, while they slept, in a brutal attack at a home on Chicago’s South Side last year was sentenced to natural live in prison, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

James Larry, 33, of Wisconsin, was charged in April 2010 in a multiple count indictment, with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, and Intentional Homicide of an Unborn Child for a shooting spree inside his sister’s home in the 7200 block of South Mozart in Chicago.

Larry pled guilty last month to the murder charges for shooting and killing his mother, Leona Larry, 57; his son, Jihad Larry, 7-months-old; his wife Tawanda Thompson, 19, who was pregnant at the time of the murder; and his nieces, Kelesha Larry, 3, and Keyshai Fields, 16, who was also pregnant at the time of the murder.

Lary also pleaded guilty to Attempted First Degree murder charges for shooting and critically wounding his nephew, Demond Larry, 13, and for shooting at his niece, 12, as she fled from the home and also shooting at a 35-year-old man, who also lived in the home.

Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced Larry to 5 natural life sentences for the murder charges, two 30-year prison sentences for the attempted murder charges and two 45-year prison sentences for the intentional homicide of an unborn child charges to be served concurrently during a court hearing.

According to prosecutors, in the early afternoon of April 13, 2010, the defendant drove from Madison, Wisconsin to the residence on Mozart with victims Tawanda Thompson, Jihad Larry, Leona Larry and Demond Larry. The defendant and the victims were spending the night at the residence.

In the early morning hours of April 14, 2010, the defendant shot the victims while they slept. Larry shot his mother as she slept on a sofa in the living room. The defendant then entered he three first floor bedrooms and shot the rest of the victims. Jihad Larry, Kelesha Larry, Keyshai Fields and Towanda Thompson all died as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted by the defendant. Tawanda and Keyshai were both pregnant and the unborn children did not survive. The victim’s mother Leona Larry was taken to the hospital where she died on May 1, 2010 from gunshot wounds.

According to prosecutors, Larry then fired his gun at Torino Hill who lived in the basement of the home. The defendant kicked in the door of Hill’s bedroom, pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger several times but no bullets fired.

The 12-year-old victim was awakened by noise and got out of bed. She saw several family members covered in blood and saw Larry on the first floor of the home with a gun. The victim ran from the home and when she looked back, she saw the defendant chasing her down the street. Larry pointed a gun at the victim and fired one bullet at her which missed. The victim escaped and contacted the police.

Larry fled on foot and was apprehended a short time later by the Chicago Police Department. The defendant led police to the murder weapon and gave a videotaped statement admitting to the murders.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Joseph Magats, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, and James McKay, Chief of Capital Litigation, for their work on the case.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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