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Charges filed in death of woman whose sister attended Obama speech

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 11:12 a.m.CDT

(MCT) — Charges have been filed in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old Chicago woman last Friday, the same day her sister attended President Barack Obama's speech on gun violence, officials said.

Jim McPherson, 21, is charged with murder, armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance, authorities said. Police said they continue to question a second person about the slaying of Janay McFarlane.

McFarlane was shot around 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 1300 block of Jackson Avenue in the northern suburb.

McFarlane was in North Chicago visiting family and friends and was walking with friends near a convenience store when she was shot, according her mother Angela Blakely. One of the friends may have been the intended target, she said.

Responding officers canvassed the area and, acting on a tip, took the two suspects into custody, according to police.

McFarlane was killed just hours after her sister, Destini Warren, 14, had attended Obama's speech at Hyde Park Academy on the South Side Friday.

Blakely, the mother of both girls, said the family had been anticipating the president's visit to the school, where Destini is a freshman. McFarlane had frequently mentioned the recent death of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, who was shot to death a mile from the Obama's home and spurred the president's visit.

North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham said he understood the shooting was gang-related but McFarland was not the intended target.

"This is something that is very tragic," he said. "Closure is something the family is looking for. I feel relieved. I'm sure the family is relieved also."

He said the arrests came after "the community reached out to officers."

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