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Trial of Man Charged in Death of Decorated CPD Veteran Begins

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.

What Happened?

Legghette, who was carrying a Glock 9MM, wearing body armor, and who had heroin, marijuana, and cocaine on his person, was urinating on a support beam when plainclothes police noticed him and called out. Legghette immediately took off and a chase ensued. Bauer, who was in uniform, was the one who caught up to him. A struggle ensued during which Bauer was shot seven times. Some of this was caught on surveillance and more information will be provided by witnesses. 

While the outcome of this trial is still unknown, the chances for Legghette seem bleak. He will need to convince a jury that he was unjustly confronted by Bauer on the day he was shot and not simply trying to resist arrest, which is a crime. Attorneys for Legghette will introduce evidence that there was bad blood between the two that escalated the issue beyond the realm of legal enforcement of the law and that Legghette had every reason to believe that his life was in danger.

However, getting caught with drugs and guns on your person while wearing body armor will likely not endear the man to the jury. The police caught Legghette urinating in public and attempted to apprehend him. During the course of that attempt, Legghette shot one of the police officers who was attempting to restrain him. The defense’s plea of self-defense is made all the more difficult by the fact that Bauer was in uniform at the time that Legghette shot him.

It is hard to imagine that a jury will rule in Legghette’s favor that the shooting was justified.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a serious crime in Chicago, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and allow us to begin preparing your case and protecting your rights.