RACINE — The jury is seated in a trial for a teen who was charged with homicide when he was just 14 years old.
Sincere Granados, 16, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the Sept. 3, 2021, shooting death of Jayden Cronin, 17, a senior at Racine Unified’s Turning Point Academy.
There is no known motive for the homicide. Investigators theorize the shooting was gang-related and allege that Cronin was a member of a south-side gang, the Dirty P’s, walking through a north-side neighborhood that is considered the territory of the NFL (Northside For Life).
Witness testimony for the trial began Wednesday morning.
Opening trial statements
Assistant DA Antoinette Rich outlined the evidence during her opening remarks to the jury on Tuesday.
The gun used in the shooting was not recovered, so the evidence consists primarily of eyewitness testimony and video from the neighborhood the night of the shooting.
Rich said video evidence collected from the area shows a white Cadillac parked on Memorial Drive with four occupants. One of the occupants lived in the 1100 block of Memorial Drive and had briefly left the vehicle to go inside his house.
Video evidence also shows two men walking down Woodrow Avenue with their hoods up and their hands in their pockets. One of the men was later identified as Cronin. The second man has not been identified, she said.
As the two men approach the Memorial Drive intersection, Rich continued, Cronin turns and starts walking back the way he came, but he suddenly falls to the ground while the second man runs off.
Investigators theorize Cronin turned back due to the gunfire.
When investigators arrive, they found Cronin face-down with a shot to the back of the head, his hand in his pocket with a gun.
The driver of the Cadillac, Christopher Pegues, came to the Racine Police Department the next day with his mom and made a report.
He identified Granados as the person who pulled the trigger and told police where they could find the white Cadillac.
When investigators found the Cadillac, it had six shots through the windshield – indicating the shooter had been in the vehicle.
Noah Wishau represents the defendant in the trial.
“This case is full of reasonable doubt,” he told the jury.
Wishau noted there were three people in the Caddy at the time of the shooting, who were much older than his 14-year-old client.
Pegues was 19 years old at the time of the shooting and another passenger, Billy Summers Jr., was 20 years old.
Wishau alleged the state’s primary witness, Pegues, was in a physical altercation with the victim the day before, giving him a motive.
While Pegues was described as being good friends with the other passengers in the vehicle, he claims to barely know Granados, according to Wishau.
“You need to weigh his motives in every statement he makes,” he told the jury.
Parallel case in the trial
When the investigation began into the shooting, investigators were initially unable to find Granados.
They put surveillance on his house, but there was no sign of the defendant.
A call on a recorded line at the Racine County Detention Center led investigators to believe Granados fled Racine with his mom.
Both were arrested 17 days after the shooting in Illinois.
Cynthia Granados, 36, was charged with felony harboring/aiding a felon. A jury trial is set for Sept. 12 for that case.
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