Trial begins for teen accused of double murder
By Janet Lundquist email@example.com September 23, 2013 1:58PM
Updated: October 25, 2013 6:14AM
Jury selection was set to begin Monday afternoon for the trial of a Joliet teen accused of a double murder.
Sjolante Q. Crowder, who turned 19 Monday, is accused of fatally shooting Adrian Knox, 17, and DeLasse Lanier, 18, on Oct. 23 and trying to kill a 19-year-old man who survived a gunshot wound.
Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak previously had decided that testimony about Crowder’s gang ties will be allowed at the trial.
Lanier and Knox may not have been members of the Vice Lords, police said, but they had a lot of friends and associates who were members. Crowder had told police he was a Gangster Disciple, according to the file in Crowder’s murder case.
A witness told police that, the night they were killed, Lanier and Knox were in the rival gang’s territory, according to court documents.
About 7 p.m. Oct. 23, several people were gathered around a Jeep Cherokee parked in the 700 block of Second Avenue when they saw a vehicle drive slowly by them, according to court records.
They indicated that soon after the vehicle passed, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked up and started shooting.
As the group scattered, Knox collapsed in a driveway on the other side of the street, and Lanier ran inside a house on the block and collapsed, police said.
Lanier and Knox were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, where Lanier died in the emergency room at 7:27 p.m. and Knox died 20 minutes later. The 19-year-old man who was shot drove himself to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where he was treated for non-life- threatening wounds.
Police arrested Crowder the next day in the 200 block of Richards Street. He is being held in the county jail in lieu of $7 million bail.