An alleged teenage double-murderer boasted on a telephone call from the county jail that he's a "gangster," said a prosecutor pushing for a jury to learn of the young man's supposed gang ties.
Sjolante Crowder, 19, made the gangster claim in December after associates taunted him for supposedly crying during a jailhouse visit, said Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Slazyk.
Crowder told his associates that it was all right for him to cry "because I'm a gangster," Slazyk said.
Crowder's murder trial finished its third day Wednesday. Slazyk and prosecutor Michael Fitzgerald want Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak to allow a Joliet police detective to tell the jury Crowder is an admitted gang member.
The prosecutors also want Detective Sgt. Darrell Gavin to testify that the two men Crowder allegedly killed—Delasse Lanier, 18, and Adrian Knox, 17—were "associates" of a rival gang.
Defense attorney Robert Lewin said no evidence has yet been introduced that Crowder, Lanier, Knox or another man who survived the gun attack, 20-year-old Jordan Caples, had any gang affiliations at all.
Judge Bertani-Tomczak allowed Gavin to halt his testimony so he could return Thursday with photographic evidence showing the three men have gang ties. Fitzgerald said the photos were found and copied from social media websites.
Crowder allegedly shot Lanier, Knox and Caples in October. The three men were among a group standing on Second Avenue when Crowder allegedly slunk up behind them and opened fire at close range, police said.