Prosecutors: Man admitted killing wife, son, 2 nieces


Bail has been denied for a Wisconsin man after prosecutors said he admitted killing his wife, son and two nieces.

James A. Larry, of Madison, Wis., appeared in bond court today, charged with killing his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19, his 7-month-old son, Jihad, his 3-year-old niece, Keleasha Larry, and his 16-year-old niece Keyshai Fields.

Two others were wounded in the Wednesday morning shooting on the 7200 block of South Mozart Street in Marquette Park: his mother, Leona Larry, and his 13-year-old nephew, Demond Larry. They both remain in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Larry, 32, has given a videotaped statement admitting to the killings and to knowing that two of the victims — Thompson and Fields — were pregnant, officials said.

Prosecutors said Larry and his family arrived at the home the day before the killings to stay with relatives. At about 3:30 or 4 a.m. Wednesday, he awoke, got a gun and shot Thompson where she slept on a living room couch, Cook County Assistant State’s Atty. Jamie Santini told Judge Peggy Chiampas.

Larry then went to nearby bedrooms and shot the other victims, Santini said, then kicked down the door to the basement apartment where a 35-year-old boarder was sleeping. He squeezed the trigger several times but the gun didn’t fire.  Shortly afterwards, he allegedly chased his 12-year-old niece down the street. “She looked back and saw the defendant chasing her down the street,” the prosecutor said. “He fired one bullet at her but missed.”

After his arrest later in the morning, Larry led police to where he had tossed the gun, Santini added.  Larry was represented by Assistant Public Defender Julie Koehler, who told Chiampas that her client grew up in Chicago but moved to Wisconsin during his senior year in high school to live in relatives. There he had obtained a GED and worked several factory jobs. Recently he had been under treatment of a psychiatrist in Janesville, Wis., and Koehler asked the judge that he be held at Cermak Health Services of Cook County, which administers care to inmates at the county jail.

Larry said little in court, uttering only a quiet “Yes ma’am” when told by the judge that he was to have no contact with witnesses in the case. Neither Larry’s family members nor Thompson’s were present in the courtroom. At the Mozart address this morning, neighbors tended to posters and teddy bears at a makeshift memorial on the front porch of the home. The home was still sealed for investigation.

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