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Chicago man found guilty of 3 killings in 2011 outside Chatham bakery

HomicideShootings

Jurors deliberated a little more than an hour Tuesday afternoon before finding a Chicago man guilty of the 2011 slayings of three people outside a bakery in the Chatham neighborhood.

Aaron Barnes, 21, faces life in prison for the fatal shootings of Chanda Thompson; her boyfriend, Shawn Russell; and their friend Cortez Champion, all 21, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said.

Thompson had just purchased a cake for her 2-year-old daughter’s birthday party the next day when she and the two others were shot and killed Nov. 5 while sitting in a car outside A Piece of Cake Bakery, 412 E. 87th St.

Barnes was arrested in 2012 after prosecutors dropped murder charges in the case against Nicko Grayson, 17, whom authorities originally implicated in the shooting. New evidence, including witnesses who came forward, pointed to Barnes as the killer, authorities said at the time.

The shooting was retaliatory, authorities said.

Witnesses originally identified Grayson as the gunman from an array of photos, and he was then identified by witnesses in a police lineup. But prosecutors later dropped murder and unlawful vehicle-invasion charges against Grayson because he was falsely identified by witnesses, law enforcement sources have said.

sschmadeke@tribune.com
Twitter @SteveSchmadeke

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