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Mistaken identity in gang hazing costs innocent man his life

Story and link (Kane County, Illinois)

Trial scheduled for teen charged in guard’s death
By KATE THAYER –
ST. CHARLES – A 16-year-old boy charged in connection with the shooting death of a former youth home guard will stand trial this fall.

An Oct. 22 jury trial date was scheduled last week for Timothy Echols, who is charged with murder in adult court.

He has pleaded not guilty.

On Halloween night 2004, Echols, then 14, gunned down Evans as he rode alongside him in a car in Aurora Township, prosecutors said. The shooting was part of a gang initiation ritual, and Echols mistook Evans for a rival gang member, they said.

The man driving the car that Echols was in that night – Eric Sanchez – pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder.

Sanchez, 20, is serving 15-year sentence in Illinois River Correctional Center. He will be eligible for parole in 2013.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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