Charges dropped against Illinois teen in beating death

Associated Press and Associated Press

CHICAGO – First-degree murder charges were dropped yesterday against one of four teens accused in the brutal beating of a Chicago honor student that was recorded in a cell phone camera video that has shocked viewers around the world.

Eugene Bailey, 18, of Chicago, was arrested Sept. 26, two days after 16-year-old Derrion Albert was killed during a fight after classes let out at Christian Fenger Academy High School on the city’s South Side.

Prosecutors dropped the charge yesterday with little explanation.

‘While the charge against Bailey was brought in good faith based on witness accounts and identifications, additional information has developed during the ongoing investigation that warranted dismissal of the murder charge against Bailey at this time,’ the state’s attorney’s office in Cook County said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the office declined to elaborate, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Three other teens are facing charges in the melee: Silvonus Shannon, 19; Eugene Riley, 18; and Eric Carson, 16. All are being held without bail. Their next court date is Friday.

A cell phone video shows a group of people striking Albert with boards and kicking him as he lay on a sidewalk. Albert, who was a sophomore at Fenger, has been described by police as an innocent bystander caught up in the fight.

Bailey’s family had maintained his innocence, saying he and Albert were friends. They claimed Bailey, a senior at Fenger, wasn’t at the fatal fight and police had misidentified him in the video.

‘They need to stop the crime, but when they do it, they need to get the right person,’ said Bailey’s aunt, Desiyan Bacon