Evanston man guilty on all counts in murder of Dajae Coleman

Rishika Dugyala, City Editor

A local man was found guilty on all counts in the murder trial of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman on Friday, nearly five years after the Evanston Township High School freshman was shot on his way home.

A Cook County jury convicted Wesley Woodson, 25, of murder and of seven counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting into a crowd of minors, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In September 2012, about 150 teenagers — including Coleman — were walking away from a high school party, deputy police chief Jay Parrott said in a news conference days after the killing.

The party had been broken up by a parent after an altercation at 10 p.m. between two attendees. Additional fights occurred at some point after, Parrott said.

Parrott said a person Woodson knew was involved in one of the fights, so Woodson grabbed a nine-millimeter handgun and confronted Coleman’s group, who were walking east in the 1500 block of Church Street. He mistook the group for the one involved in the altercation with his acquaintance

Coleman was shot in the back as he was running away, Parrott said. Police arrested Woodson within the week, and the community response was strong in its support for Coleman’s family.

Once the guilty verdict was announced Friday, Coleman’s mother — and founder of the Dajae Coleman Foundation — Tiffany Rice said the verdict provided “a little bit of relief,” The Tribune reported.

A post on the Foundation’s Facebook page stated the sentencing would be in one month.

“Thank you for all of your thoughts, hopes, heartbeats of love, and prayers,” the post read. “Justice was served today.”

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