Two South Side mothers on Monday confronted the brutal violence their sons are accused of as formal charges against the teens were filed and images of them allegedly beating and stomping to death another teenager made national news.
One tearfully said she could not bear to look at the video. The other regretfully acknowledged it was her son on the video depicting the fatal beating of Fenger High School student Derrion Albert, 16.
"That's Gene. That's my son. I'm not going to lie about that," said Sherry Smith, the mother of Eugene Riley, 18, one of four teens charged in the attack. "I do give my condolences to that family because (their) child shouldn't have lost his life over this."
Carson, who is from the Ville and is charged as an adult, was the first to strike Albert on the head, using a long railroad tie
, Assistant State's Attorney . Jodi Peterson said. Albert was knocked out briefly, and when he woke up, a group from Altgeld attacked him. Riley allegedly used a railroad tie again to strike him and Shannon stomped on his head several times
, Peterson said.
The families of Carson and Bailey could not be immediately reached, but Smith and Tamaray Shannon, Silvonus Shannon's mother, said there was a lot of tension at the school last week.
She said her son had been chased out of school and stalked between classes by teens from the Ville. Smith, Riley's mother, said she pulled another son, Vashion Bullock, 17, out of Fenger Wednesday because for safety reasons.
Neither Riley nor Shannon have a criminal history, and both hold jobs, their attorney said. Carson was on probation for a 2008 robbery conviction, Peterson said.
Smith believes that Riley was defending his brother in the fight. Shannon, who has not viewed the tape, said she doesn't believe her son would have stomped on Albert's head.
"Silvonus is not a bad kid," said Shannon, 40. "He was protecting himself. Silvonus is not what they are making him out to be."