Three teens charged in videotaped fatal attack on disabled man
It was a move that was as dumb as it was callous, according to a prosecutor’s account.
But a teenage gang member’s decision to let his buddy film him as he fatally punched a 62-year-old disabled man in the jaw came back to haunt him, authorities said.
Malik Jones, 16, now faces first degree murder charges after police saw the video of the attack posted on his Facebook wall. Two others also were charged with murder: Nicholas Ayala, 17, of the 6300 block of North Talman, and Anthony Malcolm, 18, of the 5500 block of North Broadway, police said.
Father-of-12 Delfino Mora fell, hit his head and died as a result of the attack early Tuesday morning in a West Rogers Park alley, it’s alleged.
The video posted on Jones’s Facebook shows Mora’s skull make a sickening “crack” sound as it hit the concrete ground in the 6300 block of North Artesian, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Sylvie Manaster said in court Sunday.
It was at least the third time over the past year that a Chicago attack was videotaped, leading to an arrest of one or more teens.
Manaster said Jones, of the 2400 block of West Thorndale, handed one of two accomplices his cell phone before the attack on Mora, who was scavenging for soda cans to make a little extra cash.
While his pal used the phone to film the attack, Jones asked Mora what he had in his pockets, then punched him in the jaw and fled, Manaster said.
Mora was found where he fell three hours later, unconscious with blood coming from a nostril and vomit next to his head, the prosecutor added. He was declared dead a day later at St. Francis Hospital.
But when a witness spotted the video on Jones’ Facebook, the crime started to unravel, authorities said. The witness forwarded it to a second witness, who identified Jones as the person who battered him in a separate incident June 30, Manaster said.
Those witnesses contacted one of Mora’s sons, who confirmed that it was Mora on the video, the prosecutor added. Police arrested Jones in south suburban Orland Hills on Saturday and recovered the cell phone with the video of Mora’s attack.
Jones later confessed to throwing the punch that felled Mora, she added. He’s a member of the Latin Kings street gang, with a tattoo of the words “Little Terror” on his left arm and the words “f--- you, pay me” on one of his hands, according to a police report.
Charged as an adult, he was denied bail Sunday by Judge Adam D. Bourgeois.
Mora’s death left two families bereft.
At Mora’s home a few blocks from the murder scene in the 6000 block of North Washtenaw, mourning relatives Sunday remembered Mora as a keen singer of Mexican Ranchera music and devoted dad to a dozen children and 23 grandchildren.
Badly injured 15 years ago in a workplace accident, Mora emigrated to Chicago in the 1980s from Michoacán, Mexico, and supplemented his meager disability payments by collecting soda cans early in the morning, said his son Emmanuel, 20.
“He was a very friendly, talkative guy — everyone liked him,” Emmanuel Mora said, adding that his dad was a skilled musician who played guitar in a band called ‘Los Coralillos.’ “He was sarcastic and very funny,” his son said.
One of six sons, Emmanuel Mora said he has had trouble sleeping since he saw the video of his dad’s death.
“I’ve been having nightmares — it’s been real hard but I have to be tough for my mother and my brothers,” he said. “I don’t know how anyone can be that cold-hearted.”
Mora’s devastated widow, Maria Carmen Mora, said through an interpreter that though Jones’s arrest will not bring her husband of 40 years back, “at least (Jones) will stay locked up and can’t do this to another family.”
Jones’s mother also was moved to tears by news of her son’s arrest. Monique Hendrix said her son was a “known runaway” who lived with his father and “has a problem with authority and just does not listen.”
“I don’t know what to say...my heart goes out to this man’s family,” she said, adding that her son has been in trouble with the law before.
“This is what happens when you don’t care about how you represent yourself out on the streets and you don’t care who you hurt,” she said.
Jones’s father, Terry Jones, disputed Jones’ mother’s account of Jones’s living arrangements, saying his son most recently lived with her, until he started living on the street a week before Memorial Day.
Terry Jones said he last spoke to his son on the phone on Friday and was planning to see him on Saturday — a plan that was disrupted when his son was arrested. He added that his son’s troubles started with his gang afiliation, and worsened during a spell last year in juvenile detention in DuPage County.
A visitation for Mora will be held 2 p.m.- 8 p.m. Tuesday at Caribe Funeral Home, 3314 West Armitage. His family is collecting funds to send his remains to Mexico.
Donations can be made to Chase Bank account number 3038964317 in the name of Valentin Mora.
Contributing: Frank Main