Man charged with killing 2 men in botched Chinatown robbery is on *probation* for two Boystown muggings

Alvin Thomas | CPD

Update 12:55 p.m. — Judge Arthur Willis ordered Thomas held without bail for violating the terms of his probation and also held without bail on the two murder counts.

A South Shore man who received just two years probation for committing a pair of 2018 robberies in Boystown has been charged with the cold-blooded slayings of two men during a botched robbery in Chinatown this weekend.

Prosecutors on Monday charged 20-year-old Alvin Thomas with two counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of 36-year-old Huayi Bian and 38-year-old Weizhon Xiong in a parking lot on the 2000 block of South Wells around 2:13 a.m. Sunday.

Chinatown residents will hold a 5 p.m. candlelight vigil Wednesday for the slain men at the parking lot where they perished.

“We must come together as a community to show our solidarity,” an active member of the neighborhood told us on Sunday evening. “We will not be quiet.”

Responding police officers tracked Thomas down by following a set of bloody footprints from the crime scene to the 2100 block of South Archer, according to an officer who is familiar with the case.

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The two slain men and a 44-year-old woman were reportedly returning home from a night out when an armed man approached them and announced a robbery. The woman complied with the offender’s demands, police said. But the men resisted and the gunman shot each of them in the head.

In August 2018, CWBChicago reported that Thomas and two other men had been charged with beating and robbing a Boystown bar patron on the 3200 block of North Halsted. Responding officers were flagged down on the 900 block of West Belmont by a second robbery victim who was also attacked and robbed by the men.

Police arrested Thomas, 19-year-old Herbert Sanderfer, and 22-year-old Dijon Williams near the Belmont Red Line station a few minutes later.

A grand jury indicted all of the men on counts of robbery, aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint.

Sanderfer reached a plea deal with prosecutors and received two concurrent four-year prison sentences. He’s scheduled to be paroled on July 16 after serving half of that time.

Williams also struck a deal with prosecutors. He received a pair of concurrent two-year sentences. He was released on Aug. 22, 2019, after getting a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior.

But prosecutors gave the best deal to Thomas. He received a sentence of just two years probation. He was also given credit for “time served” while awaiting trial, although most of that time was “served” on electronic monitoring and not in jail.

Judge Timothy Chambers approved the plea deals and handed down the sentences.

Thomas is due in bond court Tuesday for the double murder charges.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com