James Larry was a prison convert to Islam. The gruesome story's key findings, as reported by The Chicago Tribune, are presented below.
"He was upset at his wife and their family -- he felt disrespected that they would not join his religion," Assistant State's Attorney Jim McKay said. "It didn't matter if they were young or old, pregnant or not. He wanted them dead."
The massacre began in the early morning hours April 14, at the family home in the 7400 block of South Mozart Street. Larry first shot his mother, Leona Larry, 57, as she slept on a sofa in the living room. He then went systematically through three first-floor bedrooms, fatally shooting his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19; his 7-month-old son, Jihad; his 3-year-old niece, Keleasha Larry; and his 16-year-old niece, Keyshai Fields, who was pregnant.
According to court records. upon his arrest shortly after the carnage, he stated to police that Allah told him to kill his family, The police report quoted him as maintaining: "I wish I had more bullets. I wish I had more bullets."
Presiding Judge James Linn observed in court that,
....based on the accounts of the defendant's erratic behavior, he expected to see some evidence of underlying psychiatric issues. But in the end, he said, "there were none."
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Larry prior to the state's recent ban on capital punishment.
(Assistant State's Attorney) McKay said the fact the slayings were premeditated made Larry's case "call out for the death penalty." "It is anybody's guess how long he had planned and prepared for that day," McKay said.