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Laroy Battle, 19, Charged With Murder Of 2 Teenage Boys In South Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suspect was charged Thursday evening in the murder of two teenage boys in the South Chicago neighborhood last weekend.

Laroy Battle, 19, was charged with two-counts of first-degree murder, police announced.

He is accused of killing Charles Riley, 16, and Jasean Francis, 17, in the 7900 block of South Luella Avenue this past Saturday.

Charles Riley
(Credit: Legal Help Firm)
Jasean Francis
(Credit: Legal Help Firm)

Battle has three previous arrests, according to Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

CBS 2 has learned been sentenced to 18 months' probation in December 2019 on an unlawful use of a weapon charge the year before, and remained on probation at the time of the murders, sources said.

The probation was to end in June of next year.

The shooting happened around 5:10 p.m. that day.

Jasean was shot in the back, chest, and left hand, while Charles was shot in the back and left flank, police said. Both were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where they were pronounced dead, police said.

"These individuals were with their friend. They'd just gone to a mall. They know the neighborhood. They don't ever go out to the neighborhood because it's so dangerous," Deenihan said Sunday.

But on that one occasion, the boys asked just that once if they could go down to the corner store and buy some candy.

They walked into the store and saw Battle there, noticing he was quite tall and saying they hoped to be that tall someday.

Deenihan said there was no altercation or anything that set Battle off – and the only words he exchanged with the victims was when they asked him how tall he was. Battle and the boys did not know each other.

"None of it makes sense," Deenihan said.

As the two victims and their friend walked home from the alley, the shots rang out, Deenihan said. He had said previously that the gunman ran up and shot and killed them "for no reason."

Police on Sunday released images of a suspected gunman in the incident.

Battle was found at a motel in Schiller Park, Deenihan said. He was found with a controlled substance and faced additional charges on that basis.

Altogether this past weekend, more than 100 people were shot in Chicago and 13 were killed.


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