Concealed-carry holder murdered woman at Chicago beach after she broke up with him: prosecutors

CHICAGO — After Dariel Smith was shot while walking near Rainbow Beach last summer, Chicago police said she had driven herself to Jackson Park Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to her back. She later died. But prosecutors are offering a different version of events now as they charge Smith’s boyfriend, Kenn Whitfield, with her murder.

Smith, 25, texted Whitfield on the morning of June 26 and told him she was leaving town and didn’t want to see him any longer, prosecutors revealed in a detention petition last week.

She agreed to meet Whitfield in person, and he drove her to Rainbow Beach around 10 a.m. They got out and walked around.

The petition said that Whitfield, a concealed-carry license holder who works as a security guard, held his gun in his hand as they walked near the beach. At some point, prosecutors say, he shot Smith in the back. 

Kenn Whitfield (Chicago Police Department)

He loaded Smith into his car and, before going to the hospital, stopped at a house to discard his weapon in a box, the petition stated. Chicago cops later recovered the gun.

When they finally arrived at the hospital, Smith exited his car, collapsed, and soon died, prosecutors said.

Whitfield went to Area One police headquarters for an interview last Wednesday afternoon. He “admitted to holding the gun at the time it discharged,” striking Smith in the back, police stated in his arrest report.

Judge Maryam Ahamad granted the state’s detention petition. Unless another judge decides to release Whitfield, he will remain in jail while awaiting trial for first-degree murder.

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