Several witnesses arrested before agreeing to testify at trial for murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Several witnesses have been reluctant to testify about the fatal shooting of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee four years ago.

A pair who testified Thursday at the trial of two men charged in the boy's death were first arrested before finally coming to court.

When Tyshawn was fatally shot in November 2015, nearby Dawes Park on Chicago's South Side was filled with children. A number of them identified the two suspects, Corey Morgan and Dwright Boone-Doty, who are accused of luring Tyshawn into an alley in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood and shooting him several times.

Authorities accuse Doty of being the one who shot the boy execution-style, while Morgan is suspected of being the alleged mastermind.

RELATED: Tyshawn Lee trial begins, 2 charged with murder of 9-year-old boy

Jalen Anderson, who was 14 at the time, was in the area when Tyshawn was killed.

He was asked in court, "Why were you observing these guys?"

Anderson, who's now 19, responded that he saw a male carrying a gun.

Anderson initially refused to testify. He was arrested and spent nearly a month in jail before speaking at the trial on Thursday.

"He's in fear of his life," said attorney Andre Grant. "A case for the murder of a 9-year-old child. If you would kill a 9-year-old child, what would you do to a witness?"

RELATED: 'One of the most disturbing things I've seen': Witnesses describe finding 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee's body

Just last week, a gunman killed 18-year-old Treja Kelley in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood. Some investigators believe Kelley was fatally shot in retaliation for her testimony that helped convict the man who killed her cousin.

Prosecutors believe Tyshawn was murdered over a gang-related dispute involving the boy's father.

There are a number of other witnesses who are reluctant to testify in the trial.

Earl Moore, who was also at the park that day, is now in college in Arkansas. Moore testified Thursday after being arrested and spending 16 days in jail.

Observers said the testimony is key to prosecuting the men who allegedly committed a heinous crime.

Judge Thaddeus Wilson said he understands the concerns, but witnesses "have to follow a process, and ignoring it causes all sorts of complications."
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