|Lamon Weathers in 2016 | Cook County Sheriff|
Lamon Weathers, accused of violently robbing two cab drivers on the North Side and killing a cabbie during a third hold-up, pleaded guilty to murder on Monday. He was sentenced to 42 years in prison.
Weathers was 19-years-old when he called Flash Cab for a ride from a North Side McDonald’s on February 21, 2016. Long-time cabbie Kamil Shamji, 58, took the fare. Weathers climbed in and directed Shamji to a parking lot behind the Sulzer Regional Library at 4455 North Lincoln Avenue.
When Shamji parked his vehicle, apparently to await payment, Weathers pulled out a handgun and shot him dead from the back seat. Weathers then tried to cover up the murder by stealing the video cameras from Shamji’s vehicle, police said. But Weathers left the system’s memory card behind and video of the homicide was recovered by detectives.
|Kamil Shamji | Chicago Dispatcher|
“The video is fairly shocking,” Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin told the Chicago Dispatcher. ”The driver turns and obviously tells him what the fare is. [Weathers] begins to pull out money and the driver turns his head back. [The offender] puts the money back, pulls the gun out and shoots him, like instantaneously.”
Shamji “looked very calm, like it was an ordinary fare,” Duffin said.”He never saw it coming.”
About a week before Weathers killed Shamji, he robbed a 47-year-old cab driver at gunpoint in the 400 block of West Erie, police said. That driver was not injured, but the hold-up was captured on surveillance footage, according to prosecutors.
In a chilling twist, police later learned that Weathers flagged down another cabbie in Lincoln Park on the day after he killed Shamji. The driver was robbed at gunpoint in the 800 block of West Belden. But he Weathers let that cab driver go without harm.
The next day, the Lincoln Park cab driver saw news coverage of a police press conference in which investigators posted a photo of the man wanted in connection with Shamji’s murder. He immediately recognized Weathers and notified police.
With investigators breathing down his neck—his fingerprint had been found on a pack of cigarettes recovered from Shamji’s back seat—Weathers fled the city on February 24th. But police already had the jump on him. Following pings from the cellphone Weathers used to order Shamji’s last cab trip, investigators located Weathers at the Joliet Metra station, waiting to board a train out of the area, police said. He was wearing the same clothing as the man who was seen on video shooting Shamji in the head. He was also carrying a .32-caliber handgun that was later determined to be the murder weapon.
On Monday, as a jury trial was about to begin, Weathers entered a last-minute guilty plea to one count of murder. Under the plea deal, prosecutors dropped all charges related to the River North and Lincoln Park robberies as well as seventeen additional felonies in the murder case.
Judge Thadeus Wilson sentenced Weathers to 42 years in prison with 964 days credit for time served. Wilson ordered Weathers to serve 100% of the sentence.