Articles Posted in Murder

benjamin-faust-XLxhM6UH4pA-unsplash-300x225Cook County optometrist, 55-year-old Anthony Prate, has been given a $3 million bond by judge Goebel. The decision to place a $3M bond on Prate comes after the implementation of Rule 26, which is designed to release more low-risk suspects who have been accused of crimes and decrease the jail population. However, since Prate has been accused of murder, the judge has a right to either set bond or deny a release entirely. In this case, the judge has decided to set bond at a very large number. 

Prate has been charged with stabbing his girlfriend to death. The judge required Prate to pay 10% or $300,000 of the bond amount. He will wear an ankle monitor while he is released and live with his mother during the duration of his release. Prate was also ordered to surrender his passport and any firearms he owns. 

The defense argued that Prate is not a flight risk, has no prior criminal record, and posed no threat to the general public including any witnesses who may testify at his trial. The judge agreed that there was no legal way that he could deny bail in this case. Prosecutors, of course, took umbrage with the idea that Prate was not a risk, calling him “extremely dangerous.” 

larry-tseng-183721-unsplash-300x225Cook County judge, William Gamboney, found former Chicago police officer, Lowell Houser guilty of second-degree murder recently. Houser requested a bench trial as some police officers are wont to do when facing serious charges.  

The trial stemmed from a 2017 off-duty shooting of Jose Nieves. Houser has been under house arrest since being charged with first-degree murder.

The judge ruled that Nieves may have been aggressive toward Houser, but the man was unarmed at the time of the shooting. He therefore decided that Houser’s actions were unreasonable and that the shooting was unjustified. 

robert-hickerson-38585-copy-200x300Anton Carter yawned and smirked after the judge told him he would be spending the rest of his life in prison for the murder of off-duty Chicago police officer Michael Bailey. The prosecution argued that Carter knew Bailey was a cop, which made the life sentence mandatory according to Illinois statutes. The judge in the case, Stanley Sacks, delivered a scathing rebuke of Carter, who at times looked bored at his sentencing hearing. The outcome of the sentencing was already predetermined by statute. Those convicted of murdering a police officer knowingly must face a mandatory life sentence. The judge noted that in some cases, mandatory sentencing parameters are unfair. In the case of Carter, Sacks made no such allowance.

Meanwhile, Bailey’s family spoke of forgiveness and appeared to make allowances for Carter who, they said, “never had a chance” in life. The family did say that the sentence helped them gain closure and that they can now move on with their lives.

Understanding the Law

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200Vertis Peterson was out on bond for an unrelated weapons charge when police say he repeatedly shot his neighbor’s brother multiple times. Records show that Peterson posted a $200 bond after being charged with felony weapons possession and a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. 

According to police, Peterson was standing on his porch next to his grandmother when he got into an argument with his neighbor’s brother, a 63-year-old man who had the apparent misfortune of walking down the block at the same time Peterson was on the porch. Peterson pulled a .22 on the man and allegedly fired it six times hitting him in the hip, abdomen, and arm. The 63-year-old survived the assault, but not Peterson is facing an attempted first-degree murder charge. His grandmother refused to allow him entry to her home after he emptied his revolver into the neighbor’s brother. The man was able to identify Peterson in a photo lineup. 

Peterson has two prior convictions for domestic battery.

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300Parolee Donald Thurman is accused of raping and then murdering a University of Illinois honor student. Prosecutors say that he followed the woman to her car as she was coming out of class. They also say that she ignored several attempts to initiate conversation and that drew the ire of Thurman who put her in a chokehold until she passed out and then raped her in her own car. Prosecutors used surveillance footage of a nearby parking garage to show that Thurman followed the woman to her car. They traced a palm print from the woman’s car to Thurman and searched his home finding a distinctive white jacket that he wore in the video. 

Thurman’s Confession

Thurman confessed to sexually assaulting the woman and physically attacking her, but he denied technically raping her. The woman was found in her car and pronounced dead at the scene. She died from strangulation.

fabio-bracht-e3oE-l-rtpA-unsplash-copy-300x225In 2018, Alex Cordell Hughs was charged with shooting a victim in a Hobart Walmart. The incident began when Hughs and his girlfriend, Shaqueta Wright, were trying to put their cart back. The victim’s car veered into them prompting some kind of skirmish during which the victim was shot three times, allegedly by Hughs. 

After being charged, Wright pled the Fifth and was given “use immunity” by prosecutors. Afterward, Wright provided the police with some information during a deposition which prosecutors requested be read into the record. Use immunity prevents a defendant’s testimony from being entered against them in a trial. 

Wright’s attorney is also representing Hughs in the case against a false reporting charge.  Naturally, Hugh’s defense attorney (who is also representing Wright) objected to the request on the grounds that the prosecution must give her use immunity while she is on the stand as well, the testimony might be able to open her up to other charges.

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201A 1991 case involving Reynaldo Guevera has been overturned amid allegations of misconduct. Indeed, there are attorneys right now who only handle cases related to disgraced Chicago detectives and their shoddy and criminal police work.

Most recently, Demetrius Johnson will be allowed to move forward with a new trial after an appellate judge granted his request. Yet this time, Cook County prosecutors will move forward with retrying the case as opposed to dropping the charges against Johnson. 

The defendant’s criminal defense attorney express confusion over the decision to press forward with the trial. Not only is it a major cost to the taxpayers, but it also depletes the resources of the prosecutor’s office. Any evidence that was presented by Guevera will be considered tainted. This will require the prosecution to present evidence at trial that is either not linked to Guevera or is linked to Guevera, but the defense will have the opportunity to attack the credibility of that evidence.

david-von-diemar-745969-unsplash-copy-200x300Lowell Houser calmly called the police, identified himself as an off-duty Chicago police officer, and told the dispatcher that he had to shoot the man who just came after him. The man was Jose Nieves, a neighbor who was not found with a weapon, and the two were known to have issues with one another in the past. When prosecutors caught wind of that, they charged Houser with first-degree murder.

Now, another disgraced Chicago police officer will stand trial for abusing the public trust and tarnishing the badge. If convicted, Houser could face life in prison without parole. 

Houser will claim that he was acting in self-defense and that the shooting was justified. He claims that Nieves threatened to shoot him and reached for his waistband. 

hajran-pambudi-403848-copy-300x199In 2014, Shamiya Adams went over to her friend’s house for a sleepover on Chicago’s West Side. It was a completely random event. Calculating the odds that something like this could happen would drive a person insane. No doubt her family is wondering how or why such a tragedy could happen.

The shot missed its intended targets and left no trace that it had struck the building where the 11-year-old was. It made its way through an open window that was up a few inches just to let the air in. It then proceeded to travel through a closet wall, went into the bedroom where Shamiya was, and struck her in the head.

Now, a 24-year-old, Tevin Lee, has been charged with her murder. He is the one who police say fired the bullet that entered the skull of Shamiya Adams.

alex-boyd-260321-copy-300x200Krysztof Marek entered a neighboring apartment and killed four people who were gathered around the table for dinner. Then he went upstairs into another apartment and executed a fifth. Why? According to police, the man was being evicted from his Chicago condo. Marek left behind a note in his native Polish: “Tomorrow!! No Mercy! Enough!! They have to pay for it!!”

After executing the five people, Marek went back to his own apartment and greeted officers as they came to his door. He told them that he thought they were looking for him and then he confessed to the murders. 

Investigators later found multiple grievances against his neighbors although it was not clear specifically which neighbors had incited Marek’s anger. Marek had accused one neighbor of walking too loudly on the floor above his apartment. He left behind a series of unhinged messages that seem to be gearing himself up for the attack.