One of two brothers who were charged in the fatal shooting of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade, has pleaded guilty to her murder.
Derren Sorrells, 24, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother-of-four.
Aldridge had been pushing her baby daughter in a stroller on Chicago’s South Side when she was struck in the head and arm and killed.
Sorrells accepted a plea deal and will be sentenced on January 29.
Derren Sorrells, 24, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade
Prosecutors have recommended he receive 27 years in prison, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Sorrells accepted the plea deal after his brother Darwin, 28, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit murder and agreed to testify against his brother.
Prosecutors have recommended that Darwin receive 20 years in prison after cooperating with investigators.
The brothers, who are documented gang members, had both been out on parole at the time of the shooting.
Authorities said that Derren called his brother for help on the day of Aldridge’s death, claiming a stranger had threatened him with a gun.
The brothers then confronted the man, displaying their firearms, and he fled on foot.
Derren told police that he fired 11 or 12 shots at the man, missing him and hitting Aldridge in the process. Her baby was not harmed.
Aldridge had been pushing her baby daughter in a stroller on Chicago’s South Side when she was struck in the head and arm and killed in August 2016
Sorrells (right) accepted the plea deal after his brother Darwin, 28, (left) pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit murder and agreed to testify against his brother
Surveillance cameras captured Derren and Darwin with guns in their hands and both brothers were initially charged with murder.
But Darwin quickly confessed to investigators that his brother was the one who fired the shots that killed Wade’s cousin.
Shortly after the shooting, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed that Darwin was a six-time weapon offender.
He had been jailed in 2013 for six years for another gun crime, but was released on parole in February 2016.
Meanwhile Derren had been released early after a vehicle theft charge and was wearing an electronic tag when Aldridge was shot.
Johnson said the tag was turned off at the time of the murder under city regulations that allow criminals a certain number of ‘free hours’ each day.
‘I’m frustrated. You should be frustrated. All Chicagoans should be frustrated. It is time we change the way we treat habitual offenders in Chicago,’ Johnson said during a press conference following the shooting.
Aldridge’s death tragically came just hours after Wade had spoken out about the violence gripping his native Chicago on Twitter, calling for it to stop
He soon learned that same violence would take his own cousin’s life, confirming her death with a heartbreaking tweet
Johnson called on legislators to ‘get serious’ about Chicago’s gun problem, demanding that repeat offenders be ‘put in jail and kept there’.
Aldridge’s death tragically came just hours after Wade had spoken out about the violence gripping his native Chicago on Twitter, calling for it to stop.
Family spokesman Pastor Edward Jones said Aldridge was just looking for a better life and loved God and her family
He soon learned that same violence had taken his own cousin’s life.
‘My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal,’ Wade tweeted after learning of her death.
Wade followed the heartbreaking message with: ‘#EnoughIsEnough.’
Family spokesman Pastor Edward Jones told NBC Chicago that Aldridge was just looking for a better life.
‘She loved God, loved her family,’ Jones said.
‘Just like everyone else, just wanted a better life, to live a better life.’
‘This is tragic because now it struck home with us. Something has to be done. This has got to stop. ‘
The shooting – and Aldridge’s connection to Wade – caught Donald Trump’s attention during his campaign for the presidency.
‘Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!’ he wrote after deleting the original tweet, in which he spelled Wade’s name wrong.
Authorities said that Derren called his brother for help on the day of the shooting, claiming a stranger had threatened him with a gun. He fired shots at the man, but struck Aldridge
Wade condemned the tweet, saying Trump had used his cousins’ death ‘as a ploy for political gain’.
‘It left a bad taste in my mouth because of what my family is dealing with and what our city of Chicago is dealing with,’ he added.
A total of 769 people were murdered in Chicago in 2016.
August, the same month Aldridge was killed, was the most violent month in more than two decades in the city with 92 murders total.
Wade (pictured with his actress wife Gabrielle Union) has demanded action to address the gun crime that has taken over parts of the city