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Man charged in 14-year-old Chicago teen’s murder in Whiting

In World
June 08, 2024

A Chicago man was charged last month in a teen’s death in Whiting, court records show.

A criminal case was unsealed May 24 against Leonardo Nunez, 20, after he was extradited from the Cook County Jail in the March 23 death of Damien Abenante, 14, of Chicago.

Nunez is charged with one count of murder. He appeared in court Friday where his lawyer John Canrell petitioned for a bail review hearing, court filings show. A date is not yet set.

His next court appearance is July 26. Nunez is currently being held without bond.

Whiting Police responded around 5:30 a.m. March 23 to the 1600 block of La Porte Avenue.

Det. Brad Stelow wrote a pair of white shoes and a cell phone was still on the sidewalk. Abenante was taken to St. Catherine’s in East Chicago.

Three bullet casings were found in a yard across the street. By the time Stelow got to the hospital, Abenante had already died.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office said the teen was shot in the chest. His death was ruled a homicide. No guns were recovered.

A witness told police he heard two “pops” before seeing a male in a red sweatshirt running from the scene.

Security footage about a block away captured a black Nissan driving toward Indianapolis Boulevard just after the shooting. The vehicle was registered to Nunez’s relative.

The driver was a “younger, light skinned” man with “distinct facial features.” Police matched the footage to Nunez’s BMV photo.

A witness told Griffith Police he was with Abenante when he was shot. At the time, he had beef with “Adonis” who he said was Nunez’s brother.

Court records state Nunez’s phone was in the area when the teen was shot.

Nunez went to Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago for a gunshot wound on March 24, the affidavit alleges.


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