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First Day Of Testimony In Murder Trial Of 14-Year-Old Charged As Adult

Defense Attorneys Yolanda Riley and Bill Loeffel represent 14-year-old Zaveon Marks.
Defense Attorneys Yolanda Riley and Bill Loeffel represent 14-year-old Zaveon Marks.

Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of 14-year-old Zaveon Marks.

Prosecutors allege Marks shot and killed 16-year-old Zarious Fair during a botched robbery in June.

A teen who was with Fair at the time of the shooting testified that she immediately recognized the shooter as someone she was friends with on Facebook.

When police arrived to the scene, she showed them a photo from that profile, which belonged to Zaveon Marks. Later that day, the teen identified Marks in a police photo lineup.

She testified that the shooter was wearing a black hoodie at the time of the attack.

Jurors were shown surveillance footage from nearby Amir’s Food Mart and the Glen Oak School. It shows Fair and the witness walking down Frye Street. Moments later, two young males follow from about a block behind.

A male in a white and red hoodie, who police identified as Marks, then jogs towards Fair. Another teen wearing a black hoodie approaches them from a different angle.

Police later identified the teen in the black hoodie as 18-year-old Doyle Nelson, who also faces murder charges in the death of Fair.

During opening arguments, the defense told jurors that Nelson had a history of giving younger teens guns. They argue that he preyed on Marks, who was new to the area and needed guidance.

The defense argued that the lineup Marks was identified in contained photos of much older males -- many ten years his senior.

A gunshot residue sample taken from Marks the day of the shooting did not turn up any results. Police testified that can happen when a suspect changes clothes or washes their hands, or if too much time has passed.

Four bullet casings were found at the crime scene. A member of the Illinois State Police testified that they were all fired from the same gun.

Testimony resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WGLT. Dana previously covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois and Peoria for WCBU.