Murder charges dropped against 5 teens accused in Lake County (Ill.) attempted car theft

LAKE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Murder charges have been dropped against a group of five Chicago teenagers after an attempted carjacking in Lake County, Illinois last month.

Police said the teens tried to steal a man's car in Old Mill Creek. The man shot at the teens, killing 14-year-old Jaquan Swopes.

The other five teens were charged with Swopes' murder. On Thursday, Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim announced murder charges against the teens have been dropped.

Diamond Davis, 18, is expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon, where she will be charged with a felony conspiracy to commit burglary and a misdemeanor of trespass to a motor vehicle. She is expected to plead guilty to the two charges next week, prosecutors said.

The cases against the four juveniles in the case are moving to juvenile court with murder charges dismissed.

"Let me begin by saying the safety of our community and the enforcement of the criminal laws is paramount," Nerheim said in a statement. "Justice requires that all offenders be held accountable and appropriately sentenced for their crimes. The circumstances and facts outlined in my statement support the charge of Felony Murder. However, after full consideration of all the evidence, mitigation presented by defense counsel as well as the wishes of the victim's family, my office has entered into an agreement with defense counsel for the five offenders. This agreement ensures all offenders will be held responsible and face appropriate sentences."
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