CHICAGO – Authorities charged seven people Saturday with first-degree murder for the deaths of two men who were stomped and beaten with bricks and stones by a mob after a traffic accident.
Each also was charged with felony murder and other counts in the deaths of Jack Moore, 62, and Anthony Stuckey, 49, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said.
Robert Tucker, 20, and Antonio Fort, 16, were ordered held without bond. The others -- Henry Lawrence, 47, his 43-year-old brother, Roosevelt, Lamont Motes, 20, James Ousley, 31, and Ricky Lawson, 43 -- faced bond hearings Sunday, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said they could seek the death penalty for six defendants, but added that decision has not been made. Prosecutors said they are prohibited from seeking the death penalty for Fort because of his age.
Saturday's hearing came four days after a mob pulled Moore and Stuckey from the van, which hurtled a curb and struck a group of people sitting on a stoop of a home in the Oakland neighborhood. Three women were hospitalized after the crash.
As the injured lay on the ground Tuesday night, the mob beat to death Moore, who was driving, and Stuckey with their hands, feet, bricks and stones, police said.
Tucker broke the driver-side window with his hands, punched Moore, pulled him out of the van and began to stomp on him, said Assistant State's Attorney Megan Goldish.
She said Tucker gave a videotaped confession and had cuts on his arms that were likely caused by the broken window.
Fort, who was charged as an adult, allegedly helped pull Stuckey out of the van and kicked and beat him with a slab of concrete.
Fort's lawyer, Lawrence Wolf Levin, said Fort plans to plead innocent.
"If he was there, he was there to help (the injured)," Levin said. Fort was to begin his sophomore year in high school this fall and worked at a fast food restaurant.
Cook County Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford condemned the mob's action.
"It is apparent that if this is their idea of justice, they're in the wrong city," Ford said.
Moore's family were told of the charges soon after they were filed, said his second cousin Janet Jenkins.
"We've got mixed emotions right now," she said.
Autopsies revealed that Stuckey, an unemployed day laborer and factory worker, and Moore died from multiple injuries and blunt trauma, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Toxicology tests showed that Moore was drunk at the time of the crash.
Police said the van would be examined. They didn't know what caused the vehicle to veer off the street, but called it an accident.
After the beating, community activists and relatives of the two men urged witnesses to come forward and police tried to track down dozens of witnesses.
Goldish said authorities have handwritten statements from witnesses implicating the defendants, all of whom authorities say have criminal backgrounds and were gang members. Fingerprints from two of the men were found on the van, police said.
On Saturday, one of the three people hit by the van remained in the hospital. Shani Lawrence, 26, was listed in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Her cousin Jenny Lawrence, 18, was released from a hospital Friday.
Shani and Jenny Lawrence are related to two of the men arrested -- Henry and Roosevelt Lawrence -- but the state's attorney's office was unsure of the relationship.