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Articles Posted in Murder

Clark Perry Baldwin was arrested just recently for his apparent ties to three murders of women in the 1990s. DNA evidence also tied Baldwin to a rape in Texas. Baldwin is accused of scouring America for women to rape and then murder. Most of the victims’ bodies were recovered in Wyoming and Tennessee.

Iowa police are looking at Baldwin as a likely serial suspect and have begun the process of connecting him to other unsolved slayings. Baldwin was a long-haul trucker, potentially leaving bodies all over the country.

Cold Cases are Getting a Second Look

As we all know, the quarantine has reduced the crime rate quite a bit. In places like Georgia, where the stay-at-home order never really went into effect, some interesting (although infuriating) cases are still being prosecuted. 

A father and son duo is charged with shooting and murdering an unarmed jogger by the name of Ahmed Arbery. Now that the case is in the news, it offers a rare insight into how things operate elsewhere in the country.

The two men charged with Arbery’s murder, Greg and Travis McMichael, appear to have ties to racist organizations like the KKK. However, two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case over ties to the McMichaels and a third stepped down for unknown reasons. McMichael was a former police officer and prosecutorial investigator. 

fabio-bracht-e3oE-l-rtpA-unsplash-copy-300x225You do not need to have a law degree to know that shooting someone while on parole is a parole violation. Nonetheless, Kyle S. Carter was accused of this crime after a drug deal went sour at an Aldi grocery store on Chicago’s west side. 

Carter has now been charged with first-degree murder, possession of more than 15 grams of cocaine, and armed robbery. If convicted, he will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. 

What Happened?

jaanus-jagomagi-377699-unsplash-copy-200x300Treja Kelley was asked to take the stand against the man who had killed her cousin. After she helped the state secure a guilty verdict, a $5,000 bounty was placed on her head. A few months after she testified, Kelley was shot and killed. She was 18 years old, and she was pregnant.

The man who is accused of killing her, Kevarian Rogers, allegedly bragged about “nailing the girl” who testified against somebody. Rogers is now facing first-degree murder charges for the death of the young woman. 

Social Media Posts Will be Used to Convict Him

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200An ex-Chicago cop’s son is free on bail after being accused of shooting three people. 26-year-old Steven Bradley, Jr. is charged with attempted murder. His fiancee put up the $25,000 necessary for his release. 

The shootings occurred in Dolton, a small Chicago suburb that saw an uptick in criminal activity. Local law enforcement expressed shock and dismay that Bradley was allowed free on bail after being charged with three attempted homicides. 

Violent Crime and Bail

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200A Chicago jury has convicted Shomari Legghette of the first-degree murder of Chicago police officer Paul Bauer. Legghette attempted to say that the shooting was in self-defense, but the jury listened to evidence that Bauer had pursued Legghette after other officers called in suspicious activity around the Thompson Center. Bauer was in uniform at the time of the shooting but was wearing a jacket over his uniform, bolstering the defense’s argument that Legghette had no reason to believe that Bauer was a police officer. 

Bauer pursued Legghette on foot and a fight broke out. The two ended up tumbling down the stairs. The prosecution asked jurors to focus on the 25 seconds between when the fall happened and the sound of gunfire. Much of the incident was caught on video. Prosecutors said that Legghette should have figured the situation out when he saw Bauer with handcuffs and noticed his police radio on full volume. 

Legghette Fails to Testify

danielle-rice-v6I0YqzazbE-unsplash-copy-225x300LaRoyce Tankson was acquitted of first-degree murder charges by a Cook County judge in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man. The judge believed that Tankson was in fear for his own life when he discharged his weapon, meaning that the shooting was justified. Family and friends of Tankson breathed a sigh of relief as the verdict was read.

It is not uncommon for police officers to prefer bench trials as opposed to jury trials, especially in Chicago where the police do not have the best of reputations. Nonetheless, prosecutors set forth the case against Tankson himself, characterizing him as a cowboy who acted callously. 

What Happened?

matt-popovich-60437-copy-300x162The trial of Shomari Legghette is set to begin. Legghette is charged with murdering 31-year Chicago police commander Paul Bauer after the two men tussled in a stairwell outside the Thompson Center in February of 2018. Legghette faces an uphill battle. Legghette faces a first-degree murder charge along with several drug and weapons charges. Legghette, who is a four-time convicted felon, may take the stand on his own behalf. He will say that the killing was in self-defense and the defense will introduce evidence that Bauer and Legghette had a long acrimonious history.

Taking the Stand on Your Own Behalf

The decision to place a defendant who is facing criminal charges on the stand is a difficult one for an attorney to make. If you allow your client to take the stand, it opens the prosecution up to bring in other evidence of past crimes. In this case, however, the defense may have no choice. It is common for those who argue that a killing was justified because it was done in self-defense to take the stand.

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200Hours after sharing a meal together, an unnamed woman shot and killed her boyfriend, Steef Giovanni Corniel. The woman told police that Corniel had struck her several times and been physically abusive in the past. She said that Corniel had struck her while she was driving and later choked her at her apartment. He also threatened to kill her mother, according to the woman.

River Grove police chief Mike Konwinski believes the woman should be charged with murder, but Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says that there is not enough evidence to prosecute. Corniel’s family believes that the woman should be charged and in a statement, Corniel’s grandfather claimed that the killing was not self-defense, it was murder.

What Happened?

david-von-diemar-745969-unsplash-copy-200x300A former Chicago police officer, Lowell Houser, was given a 10-year sentence for second-degree murder just recently. Houser has already spent three years under house arrest with an ankle monitor and he will have that time credited toward his sentence. Since those convicted of second-degree murder are only required to serve half of their sentence, Houser will only be required to serve two more years after a jury found him guilty in the slaying of Jose Nieves. 

Prosecutors wanted to charge Houser with first-degree murder, but a judge nixed the idea when he ruled that Houser truly believed that he was under a direct threat when he fired the gun. The same judge, however, ruled that the shooting was not justified regardless of Houser’s subjective belief that he was in danger. 

The Sentencing Phase

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