Home / News / Plea deal in the works for West Side homecoming shooter – Chicago Tribune

Plea deal in the works for West Side homecoming shooter – Chicago Tribune


A plea deal is in the works for a teenager charged in connection with a June 2022 shooting outside a Gary West Side graduation ceremony at the U.S. Steel Yard.

Joshua Hughes, 19, appeared before Judge Salvador Vasquez on Thursday. His attorney, Andrew Kyres, briefly asked for a continuation, saying a plea deal was under negotiation and lawyers for both sides were trying to work out the final details of the deal.

Hughes’ trial for his role in the murder was expected to begin on February 20. Hughes was 17 when the incident occurred. He was charged with possession of a dangerous firearm, recklessness and two counts of battery while armed with a deadly weapon, according to Lake Superior Court records; these were all Level 5 felonies.

Approximately 200 students were planned to graduate at the June 2022 ceremony. As graduates and guests exited the stadium after the Sunday ceremony, gunshots were heard outside the stadium. Gary Police responded to a call for help from the chief of security for the Gary Community School Corporation because a fight had broken out as people were leaving graduation ceremonies around 5:32 p.m. Witness statements stated that fights broke out in the stands during previous activities.

Once the agreement is signed, it will need approval from Deputy Attorney General Barb O’Connell, who is overseeing the case, Kyres said.

“Is the state open to renegotiating the terms?” Vasquez asked.

Vasquez said it was absolutely neither his desire nor his policy to postpone the trial so close to the actual trial date, but that if the prosecution and defense could reach an agreement, a deal would be reached soon. For this reason.

Court documents allege that Hughes and another teenager were wearing both caps and gowns when they opened fire on “several individuals” across the street from the U.S. Steel Yard at 5th Avenue and Maryland Avenue, according to probable cause.

Security footage shows a “dark-clothed” masked man walking up to them in Lot B on the east side of the stadium and opening fire, according to court documents.

According to records, many people hid behind the cars while the ceremony was continuing. A 19-year-old woman was shot in the lower leg, while a second 19-year-old man was shot in the upper right part of his chest.

Hughes previously appeared in juvenile court, where he was sentenced on Dec. 2, 2021, for possession of a dangerous firearm.

The expected date to join the defense is March 14.

Contributed by Meredith Colias-Pete.



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