Thursday, October 15, 2009


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.

No comments: