3rd suspect turns himself in to police in murder of pregnant Chicago teen
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter December 30, 2013 2:41PM
Darius D. Marshall, 19, is the third suspect in the murder of 17-year-old Eva Casara in Dolton on Christmas. He was brought into the Dolton Police station Monday afternoon. | Jon Seidel/Sun-Times
Updated: February 1, 2014 6:19AM
The grieving family of Eva Casara asked Dolton’s police chief Sunday when he would find the third man wanted in the pregnant Chicago teen’s murder.
A little more than 24 hours later, officers led a young man in a dark hoodie and jeans into the back of the Dolton Police Department with his hands cuffed behind his back.
That man was Darius D. Marshall, 19, according to Chicago defense attorney Stuart Goldberg. He said Marshall, his client, surrendered to police Monday as a suspect in 17-year-old Casara’s death.
Prosecutors say Casara took a bullet to the back of her head Christmas Day during a botched robbery attempt in Dolton in which she participated.
Before she died, doctors delivered her infant daughter, Lailani Paris Casara, who is still in the hospital struggling to stay alive.
Marshall had not been charged as of Monday afternoon, prosecutors said. Police would only say they’re questioning a third suspect.
But Goldberg said Marshall is the brother of Anthony Lee, 16, and Diante Coakley, 21, who have already been charged with first-degree murder in Casara’s death.
He said Marshall turned himself in Monday at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building in connection with Casara’s death and will plead not guilty if charged.
“I feel that, eventually, he would have been caught,” Goldberg said, “under potentially compromising . . . circumstances, and I wanted him to be turned in under a controlled environment.”
Goldberg said Marshall began calling him Saturday, around midnight, the day his brothers were charged. He said Marshall was in an “undisclosed location” unknown even to Marshall’s family.
Estrellita Casara, Eva Casara’s mother, said the news that Marshall had turned himself in made her “so happy.” And while she said her granddaughter, Lailani, continued to fight for her life Monday afternoon, the battle was going well.
“She’s having a good day,” Estrellita Casara said. “Every day counts.”
Estrellita Casara also said she wants police to continue hunting for suspects so the truth can come out about her daughter’s death.
Sunday, Cook County prosecutors told a judge Casara plotted with Lee, Coakley and an unnamed brother to rob someone in Dolton on Christmas Day.
They said she set out with the brothers when they left their grandmother’s house to commit the robbery at 152nd and Dorchester, where Casara made arrangements to meet their intended victim.
Once there, prosecutors said Casara got into a car with the intended robbery victim, his passenger, and Coakley. But the robbery victim eventually told Coakley to get out, and he did.
As Coakley tried to open the driver’s side door, prosecutors said, the intended robbery victim drove off. Prosecutors said Coakley began shooting at the car even though Casara was in the back seat.
They said one other person fired shots, but it wasn’t clear who the second triggerman was. It’s believed Coakley fired the fatal shot.
The robbery victim only realized Casara was still in the car when he and his passenger heard gurgling sounds from the back seat. They dumped her at 1104 E. 152nd Street, prosecutors said, and drove to Hammond, Ind. Lee, Coakley and their brother, meanwhile, went back to their grandmother’s house and then to Gary, Ind., when they couldn’t find Casara.
A passerby discovered the pregnant teen in a pool of blood about 7:45 p.m. and called 911. She was ultimately taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and was pronounced dead shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday.
Cook County Judge James Brown ordered Lee and Coakley held without bail.