CHICAGO (AP) — A man charged in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old Chicago girl was the getaway driver for other armed men, prosecutors said Tuesday.
A judge denied bond to Reginald Merrill, who is charged with murder in the July Fourth death of Natalia Wallace. She was one of at least 17 people who were killed in Chicago during the holiday weekend.
Natalia was on the sidewalk outside her grandmother’s house on the city’s West Side when shots were fired from a car. The shooting appeared to be part of a gang dispute, said Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni.
Defense attorney Nick Burris said there was no proof that Merrill knew what was going to happen. But Judge Mary Marubio said alleged accomplices can also be held responsible.
Court records show Merrill has at least six felony convictions, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Natalia “completed every assignment during class, got along with all of her peers, and colored the most precious pictures ever given to me,” her first-grade teacher said in a statement released by Crown Community Academy of Fine Arts.