COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The three teens accused in the shooting death of college freshman Dionte Maxwell killed him after crashing a party at his uncle's house because their gang "owned the neighborhood," authorities said.
Charles Southern, 19, Ronald Hayes, 17, and Darrius White, 16, stood before a Cook County judge Monday charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and mob action.
Maxwell, an 18-year-old who attended Rockford College on a football scholarship, was killed Friday night when several strangers entered his uncle's Avalon Park home shortly before 11 p.m. and refused to leave, police said.
During a struggle that ensued, Southern shot Maxwell, authorities said.
"The defendants refused to leave ... (and) repeatedly stated that they owned the neighborhood and they owned the house, referring to the fact that it was P. Stone gang territory," Assistant State's Attorney Jacqueline Kwilos said.
Guests at the party were able to push the uninvited crashers outside, she said. But once outside, "the defendants were joined by approximately eight to 10 additional gang members, continuing to declare that the house belonged to them."
Southern threw a punch and several other "P. Stones" followed suit, Kwilos said. A witness saw Southern pull a gun and fire it multiple times, striking Maxwell twice in his back and once in his chest, she said.
A public defender on Monday called the fight "mutual combat," but Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. still ordered Southern held without bail, telling him, "You present a danger, sir."
White and Hayes, both of whom were on juvenile probation for unauthorized use of a weapon, were charged as adults in Maxwell's death. Bourgeois ordered them held in lieu of $250,000 bail.