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Hadiya Pendleton Update: Tip from inmate led police to arrest two men charged in Chicago teen's death, report says

Alleged gang members Michael Ward and Kenneth Williams were arrested and charged in the death of Hadiya Pendleton - a 15-year-old Chicago honor student who performed at the recent presidential inauguration, reports Dean Reynolds.

Alleged gang members charged with killing of inaugural performer
Alleged gang members Kenneth Williams (left) and Michael Ward were arrested and charged in the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.
CBS
(CBS) CHICAGO - A tip from a Cook County Jail inmate is what led police in Chicago to arrest two gang members in the death of 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton, a law enforcement source said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The inmate reportedly tipped off police to pick up a recent parolee who ultimately told police 20-year-old Kenneth Williams and 18-year-old Michael Ward admitted to shooting Pendleton after mistaking her and a group of her friends as being part of a rival gang, the paper reports.

Police threatened the parolee with a return trip to prison if he didn't reveal the names of others who could corroborate his story, the source reportedly told the paper.

Williams and Ward were taken into custody early Sunday morning. They were charged Monday with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Hadiya after confessing that they mistook her and her friends for members of a rival gang. Police say they attacked the group in retaliation for a shooting that injured one of them over the summer.

Hadiya was killed just days after she performed at events for President Barack Obama's inauguration. First lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral.

Hadiya's parents were among the First Lady's guests at the capitol Tuesday night for the State of the Union address. In his speech, the President called special attention to Hadiya's death.

"She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her county at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house," Obama said.

Complete coverage of Hadiya Pendleton on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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