Charges Dropped for Chicago Teen Murder Suspect

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CHICAGO – A Chicago teen is breathing easier this week after police dropped the charges against him for the murder of 16-year-old Derrion Albert in September.

Eugene Bailey, 17, was brought into custody after investigators reviewed eyewitness tapes and testimony concerning Albert’s brutal beating outside of Christian Fenger Academy High School on Chicago’s south side. Bailey came forth even before he was a suspect, trying to help investigators with the case. After seeing tapes, investigators thought they identified Bailey in the video, although the teen told them it wasn’t him.

An investigation then moved forward into Bailey’s home, where police searched for clothing matching that of the person on the tape. When they could not find any evidence or proof that Bailey owned that type of clothing, they released him back to his mother.

The initial incident started as a street fight between two rival gangs; while trying to help disburse the groups, Albert was caught up in the fight, and beaten with a railroad tie. Bailey said he considered Albert a “good friend” and had no part in his murder.

“I’m just happy to be out,” Bailey said. “I’m just blessed to have my freedom.”

“While the charge against Bailey was brought in good faith based on witness accounts and identifications, additional information has developed during the ongoing investigation that warranted dismissal of the murder charge against Bailey at this time,” said a statement released by the Cook County prosecutors office.

While her son was being held, Bailey’s mother, Ava Greyer, said she received an eviction notice from her landlord, but has since received an apology and is not required to move out.

“We all talk about what is what out here and point fingers at one another,” Greyer said. “These kids need something to do. … But at the same time, we need to sweep around our doorsteps and see what we can do as a community to keep this from happening to somebody else’s child.”

The incident has prompted local and state authorities to look more closely into gang-related violence in Chicago, which is known for its violent areas; more than 30 teens were killed last year in Chicago alone. Earlier this month, President Obama sent Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder to Chicago, where they met with the mayor and other community leaders to discuss possible remedies for violent youth crime.

 

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