Hazing News

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
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

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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