Trial in shooting death of Chicago teen delayed
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org | @JimNewton5 October 30, 2013 5:41PM
Updated: December 2, 2013 12:12PM
Jim McPherson, the North Chicago man accused of committing Lake County’s first murder of 2013 by shooting 18-year-old Janay McFarlane of Chicago in a North Chicago alley, will not face trial until next year.
McPherson’s trial date has been moved from Nov. 12 to Feb. 18 due to several pretrial issues and motions still to be resolved.
McPherson’s attorney, James Schwarzbach, has filed a motion to suppress evidence in the case related to a search of the defendant’s parents’ home. Schwarzbach is also contesting as evidence the testimony of two witnesses who identified McPherson as being in the alley. He said the witnesses had motives beyond being observers to the events.
McPherson’s next status hearing is scheduled Nov. 19 before Lake County Circuit Court Judge Victoria Rossetti.
McPherson, 21, is accused of gunning down McFarlane in a North Chicago alley Friday, Feb. 15. Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim is personally prosecuting the case.
McPherson was inside John’s Liquor Store and Mini Mart Feb. 15 when McFarlane, who was in town visiting family, and some friends walked into the store, Nerheim said. According to a witness, McPherson “stared Janay down” before she left the store to walk back to a friend’s home.
McPherson allegedly then left the store and got into a car his brother drove, and was dropped off at the intersection of 13th and Victoria streets. Witnesses reported hearing shots in that vicinity.
McFarlane was found with a gunshot wound to the head in an alley in the 1300 block of Jackson Street. She died at the scene, prosecutors said, and a witness “observed the defendant running away,” Nerheim has said.
Her death coincided with a visit by the president to Chicago to discuss gun violence.
Hours before McFarlane was shot, her then 14-year-old sister, Destini, sat near President Barack Obama when he spoke about the gun violence plaguing the nation and Chicago.
If convicted of the first-degree murder charges, McPherson faces 45 to 85 years in prison.