Teens held on $250,000 bond in murders

October 28, 2009 10:02:43 AM PDT
Two young men charged in connection to the deaths of Ruby and Milton McClendon appeared in court Wednesday morning. The Hammond, Ind., couple was found dead in a Cook County forest preserve on Oct. 19.

The two teenagers live just blocks away from the McClendons and now are blaming each other for the shootings, police said. Neither of them has been charged with murder, but both went to court Wednesday on related charges.

With the cameras clicking away, authorities escorted Reo Thompson, 17, and Gregory Brooks, 18, into the Lake County Jail, where they have been held since last weekend. The two will now will face charges in Indiana.

Police said Wednesday they are still sorting through the evidence before filing murder charges against Thompson and Brooks, who are currently facing charges of burglary, confinement and auto theft.

It appears as though this robbery was over $50, some jewelry and a rifle.

Several family members - including the victims' son, Garrard McClendon, a CLTV host-- were in court as the two suspects went before a judge. The teens looked timid as they walked into the courtroom.

Thompson, shackled and cuffed wearing a red jumpsuit, and Brooks, wearing a blue jumpsuit, were arraigned. Both are being held on a $250,000 bond.

Thompson and Brooks pleaded not guilty; both have public defenders.

"It's horrific, to be sure. It's horrific. That's the most painful thing, you know, to imagine that day, that long day. But again, it's a systematic problem. It's the horror films, it's the gangster rap, it's the language that kids use with each other. It's all of that," said Theodore McClendon, victim's son.

In court, the judge got basic information from the teens and informed them of their rights. The next court date is scheduled for the beginning of November, when the teens will enter their official pleas.


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