Single Slaying Leads to 141 Counts of First-Degree Murder

Prosecution insists it's not grandstanding


When the suspects in the high-profile slaying of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton stepped up to the bench Thursday for what was supposed to be a routine arraignment, the judge announced an eye-popping figure that seemed anything but typical.

Michael Ward, who is accused of being the gunman, faced 141 counts of first-degree murder — in a case with one fatality.

The number raised eyebrows in the courtroom and prompted Ward's attorney to blast Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for what he said was grandstanding in a case that has brought international attention — and the focus of the White House — to Chicago's scourge of gun violence.