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3rd Man Charged In Killing Of 2-Year-Old Lavontay White On Valentine's Day

By Erica Demarest | February 24, 2017 1:22pm | Updated on March 2, 2017 11:46am
 Jeremy Ellis (from left), Doniel Harris and Devon Swan are charged with first-degree murder.
Jeremy Ellis (from left), Doniel Harris and Devon Swan are charged with first-degree murder.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two more men have been charged in the triple shooting that killed a 2-year-old and his uncle on Valentine's Day in North Lawndale — bringing the arrest total to three.

Police on Friday said they are still looking for more suspects.

On Friday afternoon, high school senior Doniel Harris appeared in bond court on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of 2-year-old Lavontay White Jr. and his uncle, Lazaric Collins, 26. A third victim, Collins' pregnant 20-year-old girlfriend, also was wounded in the Feb. 14 shooting, which she recorded on Facebook Live.

Harris, 19, was denied bail — mirroring the fate of alleged accomplice Devon Swan, 26, who was charged last week and denied bail over the weekend.

Police on Friday also announced charges against a third suspect: 19-year-old Jeremy Ellis, who is slated to appear in bond court Saturday.

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According to prosecutors, the three victims were in a car in an alley in the 2300 block of South Kenneth Avenue about 1:25 p.m. Feb. 14 when Harris began driving a blue Chevrolet Spark down the same alley.

In the car with Harris were Swan, Ellis and a fourth accomplice, who has yet to be charged, according to Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Santini, who spoke during a bond hearing Friday. The foursome had armed themselves with guns and were seeking retaliation for the murder of one suspect's brother, Santini said. It was not immediately clear which suspect had lost a brother.

As Harris pulled up next to the victims' car, prosecutors said, he and one of the accomplices opened fire.

Collins was fatally shot five times in his abdomen, back and legs, authorities said. Lavontay died of a gunshot wound to the back of his head, which exited through his cheek. And Collins' girlfriend was shot in her abdomen. She and her unborn baby survived the attack.

The Chevrolet Spark was captured on surveillance footage circling the area and diving off after the shooting, prosecutors said. According to Santini, the car belongs to Swan's girlfriend, who let Swan use the car after he drove her to work.

Swan told police that the group targeted Collins because they believed he was involved in their friend's murder, prosecutors said.

Witnesses identified Swan and Harris, according to prosecutors, and Harris is accused of telling someone he went out Feb. 14 seeking retaliation for a friend's brother's murder.

Harris, of the 3900 block of West Fillmore Street, is charged with first-degree murder.

According to his public defender, Harris has worked in construction and attended Little Village High School, but CPS officials said he has not been enrolled at the school this academic year.

Cook County Judge James Brown on Friday denied Harris bail.