Articles Posted in Murder

max-bender-702436-unsplash-copy-240x300On January 27, 2019, a man was charged with attempted murder after he shot a Chicago police officer. 32-year-old Swaleh Mohammed was arrested the night of January 26 and has been charged with six felonies. It is alleged that he shot a Chicago police officer in the officer’s protective vest when law enforcement was responding to a domestic dispute in the neighborhood of West Ridge.

Police were called to Swaleh’s home at approximately 6:45 p.m. and found him inside with a gun. He barricaded himself inside and, according to police, appeared to have some type of mental disability. He then shot at police who returned fire, but did not hit the suspect.

One of the responding officers was hit in his vest, but was unharmed. He was taken to the hospital and reported in good health.

thomas-dils-678849-unsplash-copy-200x300A Chicago resident was charged with killing his mother on Christmas Eve.

A representative from the Chicago Police Department stated 25-year-old Robert Wallace allegedly left the body 67-year-old Betty Wallace in a garbage can a short distance from her home on the far south side of the city.

Employees of Streets and Sanitation found the mother’s body on December 24th when removing trash in Morgan Park at the 108000 block of South Prospect Avenue. According to police, she had sustained blunt trauma injuries to the head and her legs showed signs of stab wounds.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224On December 5 of this year, a man from Des Plaines was charged with murder after one of his relatives died suspiciously in the West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago.

According to a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, 47-year-old Robbie Barnes was charged with first degree murder.

58-year-old Rosalind Appling was overheard quarreling with Barnes in her home. After the argument, Barnes allegedly closed the door upon leaving and asked family members not to disturb Rosalind because she was sleeping.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240A man from McHenry was given a 40-year prison sentence for murder.

33-year-old Anthony Harrison tried to take his own life. Unsuccessful, he called 911 and reported that he killed his wife. Two days prior to the call, Laura Harrison was murdered at their home. Upon arriving at the scene, police found her body. She had been beaten, stabbed, and strangled.

Police later discovered that the husband, a few hours after the crime, bought several items to destroy or conceal evidence of the murder. Harrison also had the intention of burning down his house with his wife’s body inside.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225When faced with a murder charge in Chicago, you have options. You do not have to immediately admit to the crime. You also do not have to take your chances with a jury to see if it will convict you. Murder is a serious charge, if not the most serious charge, so you need to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side to craft a strong defense to the charge. Today, we will examine the common defenses to second degree murder charges so you can fight for your freedom.

Claim Insanity

You have likely heard it on the news before and it might be a good defense for you to attempt if charged with second degree murder, and that is to claim insanity. Even if claiming insanity is permitted in your jurisdiction, it does not mean that it will clear you of the responsibility associated with second degree murder. You could be issued a guilty verdict with mental illness attached to it, which means you still knew what you did was wrong. In other jurisdictions that permit full insanity, if you can prove your mental illness, then you will not be held accountable for the crime.

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200The most serious crime on the statute books of Chicago is murder, although international terrorism is also getting right up there in terms of seriousness. Quite often, the case hinges on three major components:

  • The actual commission of the crime
  • The motives behind the crime

dsehnmrevfa-jeremy-paige-300x200The crime television niche has done much to highlight the intricacies of the solicitation of murder for hire. Like in all legal jurisdictions in the world, this is a serious crime in Chicago. It involves a certain amount of breach of trust by a loved one. For the media, it is a chance to revel in the wickedness of humanity, particularly if the story involves a faithless spouse who decides to put a lifelong companion to sleep. The rudiments of the crime are to be found in the provisions of 720 ILCS 5/8-1.2.

Needless to say, this is a serious crime that leads to the death penalty in some states. It is also an infectious crime in as far as more than one person may face charges. The one that commissioned the crime and the one that executed it are both charged together with any accomplices. That is not even accounting for the ensuing public scandal that is backed by sensational media reporting. For the ambitious defense lawyer, these crimes are a boon in as far as they are a fast track to fame.

The Implications of the Charge and Conviction

800px-Englewood_Chicago_1Chicago has struggled to get rid of its reputation as the murder capital of the world. Some would argue that Johannesburg in South Africa and some cities in Middle East would give Chicago a run for its money. However the reality is that there are far too many homicides in the state. It is almost always a narrative of poor choices, deprived backgrounds, and a criminal justice system that is hard-pressed to cope with the epidemic. Malik Causey is a case in point. Starting with petty theft and teenage rebellion; he ended up in a gang and was soon shot by a rival. His mother Monique Causey describes how she desperately wanted the police to arrest her son in order to keep him off the streets, and by extension the gangs that he had admired so much in his teenage years and then proceeded to join with disastrous consequences.

Although touching in its own right, this case is just one of the 91 homicides that were committed during August of 2016 within Chicago. This has been described as the deadliest month within the city for nearly 20 years. The current annual increase in homicides stands at 46% by some estimates. Chicago is way past the magic number of 500 homicides per year. For context, it is worth noting that the total killings in the city outweigh the combined total of New York and Los Angeles (no safe havens themselves if the crime statistics from there are to be believed). The more dramatic analysts have described this as a kind of massacre on American streets.

Finding the Root Causes of the Violence

450px-Bankrupt_computer_storeThe Illinois felony murder rule is a heavily debated topic. In fact, the Illinois law is one of the broadest in the country. The suspect of an armed robbery committed in Carpentersville, IL is being charged with murder because his accomplice died during the execution of the crime. U.S. Marshals apprehended the suspect, Bobby Heard, 32, in St. Louis, Missouri, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

At around 7:30 PM Heard and his partner, Kenyon R. Slater, 37, armed with handguns, broke into a computer store on the 1600 block of Ravish Lane according to Carpentersville police and prosecutors. After restraining two employees and pistol whipping one, the thieves grabbed cash and electronic equipment before fleeing the store. While Slater and Heard were fleeing the scene one of the store employees broke free, picked up a handgun, ran toward the thieves, and shot Slater in the store parking lot, according to prosecutors.

According to the Kane County coroner’s office, Slater, a Chicago resident, was driven to Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL where he later passed away. Heard fled the scene in a vehicle that was driven by an unknown third suspect. A warrant was later issued for his arrest, charging him with a felony count of armed robbery and felony murder for the death Slater.

409px-Bayer_Heroin_bottle
Did you know that drug dealers can be held criminally responsible if their clients die from an overdose after purchasing their drugs? In Illinois, a drug dealer in this situation can be charged with reckless homicide. This is exactly what recently happened to an alleged drug dealer in Chicago known as “Big D.”

The Journal Times reports that the Burlington police discovered an unresponsive 28-year-old man passed out in his car at a gas station back in May. Officers tried to revive the man but unfortunately he passed away and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner indicated that the man’s cause of death was a fentanyl overdose, according to the Times. Fentanyl is an opioid-based painkiller that can be legally prescribed by a physician, but which is also sold illegally on the street.

As part of the investigation, police officers interviewed a witness who told the police that a person known as “Big D” had supplied heroin and other illegal drugs to the deceased victim shortly before his death. The dealer was identified and law enforcement officials arranged a sting operation under which the cooperating witness arranged to purchase drugs from Big D. Afterwards the dealer was arrested, charged with first-degree reckless homicide, delivery of narcotics, and conspiracy to manufacture or deliver heroin, and is being held on $100,000 bail.