Teen Charged in Fatal Millennium Park Shooting Moved to Adult Court, Held on $250K Bond

Video: For the foreseeable future, Chicago is instituting a new curfew for minors. But critics question whether the move will help or cause more harm, and even whether Mayor Lightfoot has the authority to do it. (Produced by Amanda Vinicky)

The teen arrested after the fatal Saturday evening shooting of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday in Millennium Park appeared in court Monday where he was charged as an adult.  

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Marion Richardson, 17, was arrested shortly after the shooting on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon stemming from the fatal shooting. 

During a hearing Monday, Cook County Judge Mary Catherine Marubio set his bond at $250,000 cash, meaning he must pay that full amount to be released from custody. In doing so, she noted the “brazenness” of firing a handgun in a crowded park and the “horrible outcome” that a 16-year-old boy was killed as a result.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy, Richardson and his girlfriend went to the park at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of a large group gathering known as a “trend” that was advertised on social media. 

While there, Richardson noticed another group of teens pointing at him, and recognized that he’d had a previous altercation with one of the boys in that group during a past “trend,” Murphy said.

That group began following Richardson and an argument broke out near “The Bean” sculpture, as his girlfriend attempted to pull him away from the others, according to Murphy, who said Holliday then approached Richardson from behind and jumped on his back.

Holliday punched Richardson in the head, Murphy said, as another teen approached and also appeared to punch at Richardson’s head. Richardson then pulled out a .380 handgun and shot Holliday once in the chest, killing him, Murphy said.

Richardson allegedly attempted to run from the park, but was immediately chased by a large number of Chicago police officers who were standing in the area. Murphy said those officers saw Richardson drop the handgun while running, then stop and pick it back up before he was detained on the grass inside Millennium Park.

According to Murphy, as Richardson was being detained he told police: “You guy’s ain’t gonna do nothing anyways. A hundred [explative] walking toward me, what was I supposed to do? Y’all just sitting there bro.”

Holliday was not armed when he was killed. Multiple pod cameras in the area captured the events leading up to the shooting, while the shooting itself was seen on social media videos police later located, Murphy said.

The handgun police recovered had a laser sight attachment and an extended magazine containing seven hollow point bullets and the sweatshirt Richardson was wearing tested positive for gunshot residue, prosecutors said.

Already the shooting has led to multiple rule changes at the park. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said unaccompanied minors will no longer be allowed in the area after 6 p.m. during weekends, and on Monday, she imposed an earlier curfew for minors, moving it from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m.

While Richardson was initially charged in juvenile court, the aggravated battery count required an automatic transfer into adult court under Illinois law. His public defender Kathleen Moriarty disputed that transfer during Monday’s hearing, arguing that her client should have remained in juvenile court.

She claimed prosecutors tacked on the aggravated battery charge solely to move the case into adult court, because the second-degree murder charge does not require an automatic transfer. She called that move “improper.”

Murphy denied that claim, saying the charges filed were “based on the facts” and came solely from the evidence obtained by investigators. He further explained Richardson was charged with second-degree murder — as opposed to more significant charge of first-degree murder — because of the possible “mitigating factor” that the teen may have had an “unreasonable belief” he was acting in self-defense.

Richardson is due back in court June 3.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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