Affordable bail: While chief judge claims no “horrible incidents,” we found more murders that seem…pretty horrible

Ed Rush (right) and Israel Villegas | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Remember Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ proclamation this month that “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur using” his two-year-old affordable bail program?

Last week, we reported on some murder cases that many members of the public may feel are, in fact, horrible. All of the homicides were allegedly carried out by offenders who were free on affordable bail.

“It’s not by magic that we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur using this new [bail] system.”

Cook County Chief Judge Timoth Evans during budget hearings, Nov. 4, 2019

Now, a couple of additional not “horrible” cases have emerged.

Prosecutors yesterday charged 24-year-old Ed Rush with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting 20-year-old Rayveon Hutchins to death as he walked on the 1200 block of South Throop last week.

At the time of the murder, Rush was free on a recognizance bond even though he previously skipped bail on a pending aggravated battery of a police officer case. The Tribune reports that Rush is also on probation for a misdemeanor gun violation.

After cops arrested Rush for allegedly battering police on Sept. 22, Judge David Navarro let him go home by posting a $500 deposit bond, according to court records. Rush failed to appear at his next court date. Authorities rounded him up, but Judge Edward Maloney released him on his own recognizance Nov. 6. 

Suburban case

After we ran last week’s run-down of “not horrible” murder cases, a reader recommended that we look into the case of 31-year-old Israel Villegas.

As it turns out, Villegas was charged in Oct. 2018 with murdering a 22-year-old man in Cicero while Villegas was on “affordable bail” for his fifth illegal gun case.

Villegas shot Diomar Rangel six times in the chest during an argument, Cicero police said. Police tracked him down and witnesses identified him as the shooter, according to prosecutors.

According to court records, Villegas was free on a $250 deposit bond that a judge set after prosecutors charged him with his fifth felony firearms violation and obstruction of justice. He was supposed to be on electronic monitoring at the time of the murder, too.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is