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Man charged with murder in Southwest Side shootings
Associated Press

James Larry


Friends of Keyshai Fields pray at the scene where Fields along with two children and a woman were murdered Wednesday.


Associated Press

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Published: 4/14/2010 7:42 AM | Updated: 4/15/2010 11:44 PM

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A Wisconsin man was charged Thursday with killing his pregnant wife, infant son and two nieces in a shooting spree at a Chicago home that also left his mother and nephew wounded, authorities said.

James Larry, 32, of Madison, Wis., was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of intentional homicide of an unborn child. Officials said both his wife and teenage niece were pregnant.

Larry told police following his arrest early Wednesday that he heard voices encouraging him to kill his family and was sorry he had run out of bullets, a person close to the investigation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said Thursday that Larry's 19-year-old wife, Tawanda Thompson, and their 7-month-old son, Jahod Larry, were among those shot to death before 5 a.m. Wednesday. Larry's nieces, 3-year-old Keleasha Larry and 16-year-old Keyshai Fields, also were killed. Thompson and Fields were pregnant, the office said.

James Larry was being held without bond and was scheduled for a court appearance Friday, police said. Jail officials did not know whether he had an attorney.

The person who spoke on condition of anonymity said Larry told police Allah told him to kill family members. The man's sister told reporters at a vigil outside the home that her brother had recently been reading passages from an Islamic text that led him to believe he should kill someone.

Larry's mother, Leona Larry, and his 13-year-old nephew remained hospitalized Thursday at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Leona Larry was in critical condition, hospital spokesman Mike Maggio said. He declined to release details about the boy because he is a minor.

Court documents in Madison, Wis., indicate James Larry and Thompson were granted joint custody of the 7-month-old in a paternity case just last week.

Although there are discrepancies in the spelling of Thompson's first name and the first name of the boy -- Wisconsin documents list her first name as Twanda and the baby as Jihad -- the ages of both are the same as those killed in Chicago.

The couple married last month, according to the April 6 paternity judgment.

Court records indicate Larry has an arrest record dating to 1995 for battery, drug possession, resisting arrest and escape, said Andy Conklin, spokesman for the Cook County, Ill., state's attorney's office.

Larry was sentenced in 2002 to almost six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon. Paroled in April 2007, he stayed out of trouble for about a year before he was sentenced to three months in a halfway house after he admitted smoking marijuana.