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Two alleged Chicago gang members have been arrested in the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and are scheduled to appear in Cook County Criminal Court today for a bond hearing.

As we previously reported, Pendleton was shot and killed in South Side Chicago one week after participating in President Obama’s Inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C.

Chicago police have charged Micheail Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, with Hadiya Pendleton’s murder, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Ward reportedly confessed to pulling the trigger and Williams is the accused getaway driver. Chicago police detectives arrested the men Saturday night as they were on their way to a strip club to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

According to detectives, the motive was revenge for a shooting back in July by a rival gang in which Williams was wounded. Ward and Williams reportedly mistook Hadiya Pendleton and her friends for members of that rival gang and shot at them, killing Hadiya and injuring two others.

In what is sure to add to the national debate on gun control, Ward was arrested in 20011 on a weapons charge and was sentenced to two years probation. However, Ward was still on the street after he violated probation three times for break-ins and for trespassing. The director of the Cook County probation office admitted there was an oversight that led to Ward being on the street, and he promised an investigation.

First Lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral on Saturday, and Hadiya’s parents will be the First Lady’s guests tonight when President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union speech.

Read more here.


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