A man accused of fatally shooting a Chicago honors student claims a gang leader had pressured him to open fire.

The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1XMR39b ) reports that recently released transcripts of police interviews with Micheail Ward offer a glimpse into the tactics used by officers while investigating the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. She died a week after performing at President Barack Obama's second inauguration.

Transcripts show officers tried to use the national attention garnered by Pendleton's death to convince Ward to speak following his arrest.

Ward eventually told police that he felt pressured by co-defendant and gang leader Kenneth Williams to open fire into the park and that he "didn't have a choice."

His lawyers argued that Ward was psychologically coerced, but a judge ruled Tuesday that his statements can be used at trial.

Ward and Williams have pleaded not guilty.

___

Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com