A CWBChicago investigation has found that nearly 10% of the people facing violent crime or serious weapons charges in our area have gone missing after being released on bail.
When a judge sets a cash or deposit bond for a defendant, Illinois requires that 10% of the bond amount be put down to secure the person’s freedom to await trial. If the accused goes missing, the person who put up the bail money risks being held responsible for the remaining 90%.
Many states allow professional bondsmen to put up money for accused individuals. If someone goes missing, the responsible bondsman can then hire a bounty hunter to track the offender down. Bondsmen and bounty hunting are illegal in Illinois.
Of the missing individuals in our study, one man was released on a recognizance bond. Another had bail posted by a community group that bails out accused criminals who “have been impacted by structural violence.” Others had relatively low bonds set for violent crimes.
With Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans ordering judges to lower bail amounts to something defendants can afford, we expect to see many more people going AWOL very soon.
For our report, CWBChicago reviewed the statuses of 55 pending cases involving violent or serious weapons-related crimes in our area. We included murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, home invasion, and felony weapons cases in our research.
Here are the men who’ve gone missing, a look at how they got out of jail, and what they are accused of doing to get put behind bars in the first place. Information is current as of 3 p.m. on July 20, 2017, according to records in the Office of the Cook County Court Clerk.
Kenneth Manning, 20
Allegation: A 25-year-old man told police that he was walking in Boystown when Manning and another man pushed him into an alley and robbed him around 3 a.m. on May 17, prosecutors said. Manning gave the Howard Brown Health Center in Uptown as his home address.
Bail: The Chicago Community Bond Fund posted 10% of Manning’s $50,000 bond.
Status: AWOL since missing a court date on July 17. An acquaintance of Manning’s told CWBChicago that he has “disappeared.”
Cornelius Brewer, 21
Charges: Aggravated robbery; theft of lost or mislaid property; battery; possession of cannabis
Allegation: Brewer and another man are accused of pushing a Lakeview landscaper to the ground, indicating that they had firearms, and stealing the man’s leaf blower from his equipment trailer on May 6, 2016.
Bail: Released on a $10,000 recognizance bond
Status: In the wind since missing court on August 18, 2016
Marcus D. Davis, 31
Charges: Felon in possession of a weapon, narcotics
Allegation: Police said they found Davis in possession of a firearm and drugs during a traffic stop in the 4300 block of North Broadway on January 5, 2017.
Bail: Davis’s aunt posted $1,000 of his $10,000 bond on February 1.
Status: Hasn’t been seen since missing a court date on June 7.
Jose Benitez-Sanchez, 43
Charge: Home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint
Bail: A family friend posted $25,000 of his $250,000 bond.
Status: Benitez-Sanchez has been missing since skipping court on June 15, 2017.
Donzell Lloyd, 20
Charges: Aggravated robbery (two counts), robbery
Bail: Lloyd’s mother posted $6,000 of his $60,000 bond.
Status: In mid-May, Lloyd went to Dayton, OH, where he and an accomplice allegedly shot a man three times during a robbery. He is in custody there.