By J. Coyden Palmer
The first of four people charged in the 2015 murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, was sentenced on Tuesday, August 26. Anthony Morgan, who illegally brought the firearm that was used to shoot Lee into Illinois from another state, was sentenced to four years in prison by U. S. District Judge Charles Norgle. Morgan, 32, could have received a five-year sentence on the gun crime to which he pled guilty.
Anthony Morgan is the brother of Corey Morgan, who along with two other men, Kevin Edwards and Dwright Boone-Doty, has been charged with murder in the case that sent shock waves through the nation.
During his sentencing, Morgan attempted an apology, telling Norgle he knew what he was doing was not right. But Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durkin said Morgan’s case is reflective of Chicago’s illegal gun culture.
The Chicago Crusader was the first media outlet in the country to break down the Lee murder.
Durkin said Morgan had an associate in New Mexico who would purchase the guns for him using Walmart money transfers and then ship the guns to Morgan in Chicago in the mail, as Morgan himself did not purchase the guns, despite not having a criminal record.
Durkin argued for the maximum sentence since the gun that was used to murder Lee was also linked to another homicide, and at least one other shooting.
“Those guns left a trail of carnage in this community,” Durkin wrote in a court memo that was filed.
Norgle told Morgan he was failing to accept responsibility for his role in the situation. He said Morgan knows full well that many of his associates, including his family members, were involved in gang activity.
In his plea however, Morgan said he provided guns for the neighborhood simply because he had the connections to get guns.
His brother Tracey Morgan along with his mother, had been shot a few weeks prior to Lee’s murder. Tracey Morgan died; his mother survived. That is what police and prosecutors believe was the motive for the revenge murder of Lee, as his father Pierre Stokes, 28, is believed to be a member of a rival gang of the Morgans.
Pierre Stokes was charged four months after his son’s death for a shooting that took place on March 8, 2016. He is being held without bond in Cook County Jail awaiting trial in that case. Police allege he shot three individuals in the Gresham community, all of whom survived, because he was seeking revenge in his son’s death.
“Mr. Stokes, who was involved in a gang lifestyle, ultimately suffered an unspeakable loss with the calculated execution of his son. Despite this, he continued to engage in the same gang activity that started this initial cycle of violence,” said CPD after Stokes’ arrest.
Corey Morgan, Edwards and Boone-Doty are expected to go to trial next month in Chicago. All have been charged with first-degree murder and could face life behind bars without the possibility of parole if convicted.
In addition to breaking the story of the connections in the Tyshawn Lee murder case, the Chicago Crusader won 3rd place for the 2016 Ida B. Wells award for Best News Story, from the National Newspaper Publishers Association for publication of the story of Tyshawn Lee’s murder.