Since Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans said in November that “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” since he instituted a new “affordable bail” program in the fall of 2017, CWBChicago reporters have found many court cases that tell a different tale.
Nearly two dozen men freed on affordable bail have shot or killed people while awaiting trial on gun charges, public records show. Our research has also found defendants who’ve allegedly killed while free on little or no bail for robbery, manufacture-delivery of heroin, and aggravated battery of a child causing great bodily harm.
In recent weeks, our team has found several more cases filed against men who allegedly killed or tried to kill people in Chicago while they were on bail for other charges. Here are the first three:
Attempted murder 3 hours after release
Around 1:30 a.m.on March 25, police arrested Kendale Isom after he allegedly grabbed a chunk of loose concrete from the curb and hurled it through his girlfriend’s living room window on the West Side.
Isom, 18, was charged with misdemeanor counts of battery, resisting police, and criminal damage to property after police allegedly found him hiding under an SUV.
Police records show he was released from custody on a recognizance bond at 6:10 a.m. the same morning.
Less than three hours later, he returned to his girlfriend’s house with a gun and fired at least three shots at her as she stood in her backyard, according to a police report. All of the shots missed.
Responding officers spotted Isom, who allegedly took off running through yards in the neighborhood with a gun in his hand. He burst into a family’s home and locked himself in a bedroom while the people who lived there ran outside, according to police. Cops, with the homeowner’s permission, kicked in the door and arrested Isom.
Prosecutors charged Isom with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm with a silencer, and criminal trespass to a residence. He’s now being held without bail.
Murder for hire while on bail for robbery
In April 2019, police arrested 20-year-old Kavarian Rogers for an attempted armed robbery on the 4800 block of South Michigan, according to court records.
Prosecutors charged him with felony armed robbery with a handgun and Judge Sophia Atcherson ordered him held without bail. But five months later, Judge William Hooks reduced his bail to $50,000. Rogers went home by posting a $5,000 deposit bond, records show.
Less than four months later, on September 8, 2019, Rogers received $5,000 to shoot and kill 18-year-old Treja Kelley because she had recently testified in a murder case, prosecutors allege. Kelley was also pregnant at the time.
Kelley was the only witness who testified in the trial last summer of a man who was accused of killing her cousin. That man, Deonte Davis, was convicted
Rogers boasted about receiving $5,000 to commit a murder and he flaunted his newfound cash with social media posts of big-ticket purchases, prosecutors said.
Officers arrested Rogers last month to face first-degree murder charges. He’s being held without bail in that case as well as the earlier robbery.
Recognizance bond, then murder
Albaro Guerrero-Garcia was 18 when police pulled him over for a traffic violation on October 20, 2017. Officers who approached his car said he had a loaded 45-caliber handgun with an attached laser sight tucked between his legs.
Prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle and Judge Michael Clancy released him on his own recognizance the next day, according to court records.
Exactly five months later, on March 17, 2018, Guerrero-Garcia drove two gunmen to Back of the Yards where they fatally shot city worker Terrell Jones as he rode in his cousin’s car, prosecutors allege. The cousin was also shot but survived.
Before police solved the case, Guerrero-Garcia pleaded guilty to the gun charge he was facing. A judge sentenced him to a year in prison.
About two months after he was released, prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm for the shooting. He’s now held without bail.