Attorney seeks new trial in double murder case
By Janet Lundquist email@example.com October 25, 2013 7:56PM
Sjolante Q. Crowder / photo provided
Updated: November 28, 2013 6:49AM
The attorney for a 19-year-old facing life in prison after he was convicted of a Joliet double murder filed a motion Friday asking for a new trial.
A jury deliberated for about an hour last month before finding Sjolante Q. Crowder, 19, guilty of murder for shooting to death Adrian Knox, 17, and DeLasse Lanier, 18, in Joliet on Oct. 23, 2012.
Crowder’s attorney, Robert Lewin, argues Crowder should have a new trial because prosecutors cross-examined Crowder on statements he did not testify about.
A new trial also is warranted, Lewin said, because jurors heard testimony that the shooting was possibly gang-motivated, which was determined to be inadmissible during the trial.
About 6:45 p.m. Oct. 23, 2012, several people were gathered around a Jeep Cherokee parked in the 700 block of Second Avenue when they saw a black sport utility vehicle drive slowly by them, according to court records.
They indicated that soon after the vehicle passed, a man wearing a black 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.
They were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, where Lanier was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 7:27 p.m. and Knox was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.
A third, then-19-year-old man who was shot drove to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police arrested Crowder the day after the shooting in the 200 block of Richards Street.
Arguments on the motion and a sentencing hearing are scheduled for Dec. 13.