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Testimony Starts in Joliet Teen’s Double Murder Trial

Tempers flared during the trial of a Joliet teen charged with killing two men and wounding a third in an October gun attack.

Sjolante Crowder. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
Sjolante Crowder. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
By Joseph Hosey

The first witnesses were called to the stand in the murder trial of a Joliet teen charged with killing two men and wounding a third in an October gun attack.

A series of Joliet police officers and the man who survived the shooting on Second Avenue, among others, testified Tuesday at the trial of 19-year-old Sjolante Crowder.

Tempers ran high in the courtroom and exploded outside the courthouse, where two men were arrested for fighting, a police officer said. The two men were handcuffed and held in police cars parked in front of the courthouse after the brawl was broken up.

The two men allegedly killed by Crowder—Delasse Lanier, 18, and Adrian Knox, 17—and the one he allegedly wounded, 20-year-old Jordan Caples, were standing in a crowd when Crowder allegedly slunk up behind them and opened fire at close range.

Lanier and Knox were pronounced dead at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox soon after the shooting. Caples, who took a bullet to his upper back, drove himself to Provena St. Joseph Medical Center and survived.

In the wake of the killings, the police said the gun attack stemmed from a fight between two young women earlier in the evening.The police also said the shooting was gang related.

Caples testified Tuesday.

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