The oldest of the five Chicago teens, who were initially charged with murder during a car theft gone wrong in Old Mill Creek, pleaded guilty to reduced charges Thursday morning.
Diamond Davis, 18, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit burglary and misdemeanor criminal trespass to a motor vehicle in Lake County Circuit Court, prosecutors said.
Davis was ordered to remain held in the Lake County Jail on a $1 million bond by Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti. A sentence hearing has been scheduled for October 18.
She faces up to three years in prison on the conspiracy to commit burglary charge and up to one year for the criminal trespass to a motor vehicle charge.
Prosecutors dropped first-degree murder charges against Davis and the other four teens charged in connection with the fatal shooting of their 14-year-old accomplice, Jaquan Swopes, during an attempted car theft in August.
“An agreement has been accepted between my office and defense attorneys for the five offenders involved in the August 13 Old Mill Creek crime spree that resulted in the death of a 14-year-old boy from Chicago,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim announced on September 19.
“The circumstances and facts outlined in my statement support the charge of Felony Murder. However, after full consideration of all the evidence, mitigation presented by defense counsel as well as the wishes of the victim’s family, my office has entered into an agreement with defense counsel for the five offenders,” Nerheim said at the time.
The other four offenders, who are under 18 years old, all face the same charges as Davis and their cases were moved to juvenile court after the murder charges were dropped.
“However, due to strict laws governing juvenile courtroom proceedings, my office is unable to give details regarding the charges involving the juveniles going forward,” Nerheim said.
Prosecutors said that six teens drove in a stolen vehicle from Cook County to a Lake County home in the 17600 block of West Edwards Road in Old Mill Creek around 1:15 a.m. August 13.
“The offenders drove the stolen vehicle down an exceptionally long driveway on West Edwards Road in a very remote, dark, and secluded section of Lake County,” Nerheim said.
The 75-year-old homeowner, who was in bed, got up after seeing headlights moving up his driveway. As he was getting ready to go outside, the vehicle turned around in his driveway and parked facing toward the road before several people exited and approached the home, prosecutors said.
The homeowner armed himself with a handgun he lawfully owned and then walked out his front door to investigate.
“After first announcing his presence and telling the offenders to leave, the elderly homeowner saw several offenders quickly moving toward him. He saw one of the offenders carrying an object, and, fearing for his own life safety and the safety of his wife, he fired his gun several times to try and scare the offenders away. One of the shots fired from the weapon hit the 14-year-old male,” Nerheim said.
The teens ran back to the stolen vehicle and drove away.
Several minutes later, four of the teens left the wounded 14-year-old and a second offender with a police officer, who was investigating an unrelated scene in Gurnee.
The four drove off in the stolen vehicle, leading police on a high-speed back to Chicago that ended when the car ran out of gas.
After the shooting, police located a 10-inch hunting knife on the driveway and a cell phone with pinned GPS coordinates of other homes the teens had been that night, prosecutors said.
“The offenders have since admitted they knew they were in a stolen vehicle the night of the incident, and all have admitted to coming to Lake County for the sole purpose of committing burglaries,” Nerheim said.