Separate juries convicted two Far South Side young men this afternoon of killing an 8-year-old girl and wounding her younger cousin in a shooting two years ago that prosecutors alleged was sparked by feuding factions in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.
A Cook County jury deliberated a little more than
an hour before finding Marcus Cocroft, 18, guilty of murder and aggravated
battery in the August 2010 shootings of Tanaja Stokes and Ariana Jones, 7.
A second jury, which heard the same trial in a combined proceeding,
deliberated about six hours before convicting co-defendant Steshawn Brisco of
the same charges late Friday afternoon.
Cocroft, dressed in an argyle sweater and blue
tie, showed no visible reaction as the jury’s verdicts were announced in Judge
Stanley Sacks’ courtroom.
His mother started to cry after the jury left
the room and could be heard wailing in the hallway of the Leighton Criminal
Prosecutors said the girls were playing on a warm summer
evening outside Tanaja’s home in the 10700 block of South Indiana Avenue when
Cocroft and Brisco rode up on bicycles and opened fire on another group of teens
One of the bullets struck Tanaja in the head and killed
Ariana was struck in the head and hospitalized in critical condition
but survived and testified at the trial earlier this week.
was sparked by an ongoing feud between rival groups of teens in the Roseland
Cocroft and Briscoe were later heard
bragging about how they “aired out the D-block,” a reference to that section of