It took prosecutors 45 minutes to read through all of the charges filed against two men who committed dozens of batteries, armed robberies, and at least one murder over the course of four hours. Police said they left nearly two dozen victims over the course of the crime spree and horrifically beat a man to death in front of his family as he was trying to put up Christmas lights.
This is precisely the type of crime that Chicago is riddled with, leaves people afraid for their safety, and confounds any attempts to rationalize the event. The two men prowled the streets with a crowbar and a baseball bat looking for easy victims. One of the victims was a family man hanging Christmas lights. His children were there to witness the beating and killing of their father.
In another incident, the men terrorized a family and stole the father’s paycheck while his 4-year-old son was present in the vehicle. They are unlikely to see the outside of a prison cell in their lives for these crimes. DNA evidence from the crowbar and the bat will show the victim’s blood and connect them to the crimes.
These two would have continued to prowl the streets of Chicago until they were stopped. So, thankfully, they were stopped. The question then becomes: What is happening? There are easier ways to get money, especially if you are crewed-up. Gangs would not resort to these kinds of tactics to earn money. They tend to be more organized about their criminal activities. It is unclear if the pair is affiliated with any group. Sometimes gangs will commit crimes to maneuver pawns into the prison system where they can be more useful, or as penance for a crime against the gang. The question is, why target people this way? It is not terribly lucrative, especially now when people do not carry a lot of cash on them.
Part of the issue here may be that the cruelty is the payoff. Some people just feel better about themselves when they cause harm to someone else. So, the question then becomes, how do you stop people from becoming the sort of person who enjoys hurting others for their own personal gratification?
Senseless crimes like these leave families shattered, children traumatized, and all of Chicago feeling cold. The best we can do is punish them after the fact. In this case, the two men are facing first-degree murder charges, multiple counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, multiple counts of armed robbery, and probably more. It will be enough to keep them behind bars for the rest of their lives. When all is said and done, that was the only possible outcome of such a crime spree. Whatever they “earned” would have been worthless once they were arrested. So, ultimately, it was their own lives they spent too when taking others. Small solace, maybe, because they do not appear deterred by consequences until they are facing them. But at least they are off the streets.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney