Covering the WestSide as it is today and Challenging everyone to become involve as we move into the future.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
THE MURDERERS OF NATASHA HOWLIET IDENTIFIED!
Police on Wednesday arrested 33-year-old twins in the death of a young mother gunned down as she waited for a bus on the Near West Side last week.
Keith and Kelly Pearson, identified as street gang members, each was charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 7 death of Natasha Howliet, a 20-year-old mother of three.
Twin brothers Kelly (left) and Keith Pearson have been charged in the Oct. 7 fatal shooting of Natasha Howliet near a West Side bus stop.
The Pearsons were trying to shoot two members of a rival street gang who had approached Howliet, finding her attractive, police said. None of the men knew Howliet, who was waiting for a CTA bus at a shelter at Madison and Homan about 10 p.m.
The two gangs are fighting over illegal drug sales turf, police said.
The Pearsons are accused of spotting their rivals and approaching the corner in a car. Kelly Pearson, currently on parole, drove, while Keith Pearson allegedly fired off five to seven shots, police said.
Howliet died of a gunshot to the back.
Surveillance tape helped in the investigation, but the bulk of information leading to the arrest of the twins came from eyewitnesses, police said.
The shooting incensed community members.
"She's doing nothing other than waiting for a bus on the street, and is gunned down," said Anthony Riccio, commander of the Area 4 detective division. "This wasn't your typical gang violence."
The round-the-clock investigation involved at least a dozen detectives, police officers and police gang unit members.
"We wanted to bring it to a quick resolution and restore the feeling of safety to the community," Riccio said.
Both Pearsons expressed remorse in confessing to the shooting, he said.
"They apologized and expressed remorse over the fact that they killed an innocent woman," he said.
Keith Pearson, of the 2900 block of West Harrison, is a self-admitted member of the Vice Lords gang, police said. Kelly Pearson lives in the 1400 block of North Ridgeway.
LISTEN TO LIVE EVERY SUNDAY WRLL 1450 AM - 10pm UNTIL 12am
Sunday, Garfield Major's show, “Talking To The People” on WRLL 1450 AM from ten until midnight. Call 773-591-6777. To reach Garfield Major, call 773-638-8462 or 8463.
Also visit ONIXLINK.COM to see my postings under the Writer's Block section.
EMAIL ME: WESTSIDE2DAY@YAHOO.COM
Arlene Jones' Biography
I was born in Chicago. I grew up in Cabrini Green. I attended Wells Sr High, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle where I majored in Spanish and minored in Education. I have a diploma in Computer Programming.
I moved to Austin when I purchased a home here. I have two children.
I have been active in the community since moving here. I started with my blockclub. In the early 1990s, I worked with several people to try and form the North Austin Homeowners Association. I even went on patrol with a group of people who had a walkie talkie car patrol of the neighborhood.
As with most programs in the AA community, many factors led to the demise of those groups. Lack of support from elected officials was at the top of the list.
There were several people who had a group and we met out of DaVinci Manor. DaVinci Manor was at the corner of North Ave and Central where Walgreen now stands. Again there was very little interest in saving that building and our community lost a beautiful hall.
I have protested the state of the Central Ave bridge. I worked with Leola Spann and did many a smoke out including one in the 1500 block of North Lorel where drug paraphenalia layed on the ground. I have over the years here in Austin worked with the following groups at one point or another:
Northeast Austin Organization (Mary Volpe, Tom Hosea);
Northwest Austin Council;
Brotherhood of Black Men;
Westside Health Authority;
Every Block A Village;
25th District Housing Committee;
African American Employees at the Merchandise Mart (AAEMM);
Lafollette Park Advisory Council;
Garfield Park Conservatory Advisory Council;
Westside Executive Advisory Council;
Austin Landmark Cultural Center;
Concerned Citizens of East Garfield Park
and so many others that it gets hard to remember.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. -- Malcolm X