Parents claim son wrongly accused in Pendleton murder: EXCLUSIVE - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Parents claim son wrongly accused in Pendleton murder: EXCLUSIVE

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Kenny Williams, suspect charged in Pendleton murder Kenny Williams, suspect charged in Pendleton murder
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Did police arrest the wrong person as the alleged driver in the shooting of Hadiya Pendleton?

Kenny Williams, 20, is one of two men charged with first degree murder in the death of Pendleton, but his parents, Michael Lopez and Julia Beal-Lopez, are speaking out with details they say should set their son free.

SEE: Family of Hadiya Pendleton's accused gunman: We're torn apart too

They say he had nothing to do with the murder and that the real driver of the car was someone who looks very much like Williams, but is being protected by the suspected shooter, Michael Ward.

"A very reliable source informed me that his own son was the driver of that vehicle on that day," Kenny Williams' stepfather Michael Lopez says.

The couple says Williams was at home in their apartment with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting and they believe security video at their CHA high-rise can prove it.

They point out that while police said Michael Ward confessed to being the shooter, and identified Williams as the driver, he has reason to lie. Michael Lopez said Ward is protecting the real driver because it is someone close to him. Then, Lopez says there was a scuffle between Ward and Williams two weeks ago.

"Kenny and Ward had beef with each other the week prior to them being arrested," Michael Lopez says. "They had a fight and that Kenny took advantage of him in the fight."

Williams, who has been accepted into the Air Force, has no criminal background. His parents showed FOX 32's Craig Wall his room, with his trophies for athletics and academics.

He graduated from King College Prep, the same school Pendleton attended and they believe their son is the victim of a rush to judgment by police.

"I am certain they were under a lot of pressure and you know some of the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit, and so they just stuck them in where they fit," Michael Lopez says.

The ripple effect has been death threats made against Williams15-year-old sister, who attends Hyde Park Academy, where President Obama visited on Friday.

"Like today, she received a text, of someone saying what they're gonna do to her, and she's just tired of hearing," Williams' mother Julia Beal-Lopez explains.

They showed us the text they say their daughter passed along to them, where someone threatened to kill her. They are hoping police look into their claims and arrest the right person.

"It's stressful," Williams' mother says. "I would just like for them to get to the bottom of things and bring my son home where he belongs."

After talking to the head of the Area Central Detectives and sharing the information presented in this story, the commander told FOX 32 News that they have significant evidence against Kenny Williams, including cell phone pings that put him on the route the alleged killers drove that day.

He also said he intends to pass the information along to his detectives and have them look into it, adding that they want to get this investigation right.


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