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. We told you about three cases earlier this week. Our second installment follows.
Murder while on electronic monitoring for gun charge
Chicago police arrested Dequawn Little in November after they allegedly found him with a handgun in Benjamin Franklin Park. He went home on electronic monitoring the next day when his sister posted a $2,000 deposit bond, according to court records.
Prosecutors say Little, age 21, got another gun and fatally shot 15-year-old Demetrius Hardy last month. Witnesses told police they saw Little firing shots at Hardy as the boy stood on a porch in the 700 block of South Kilbourn. Hardy collapsed and died at the scene.
Little was standing across the street from the shooting scene when bystanders pointed him out to police, according to CPD records. Prosecutors charged him with murder and he’s being held without bail. But he is not charged with escaping electronic monitoring because he was still within range of the ankle bracelet transmitter box when he allegedly killed Hardy.
Two separate murders while on bail
Eduardo Venegas, who police say is a 19-year-old member of the Two-Six street gang, is accused of killing two people in four months while he was free on affordable bail.
Police arrested Venegas after they saw him get out of a stolen vehicle and run from officers in July 2018, according to court records. He was released on a recognizance bond.
The next month, Venegas shot and killed 18-year-old Dylan Davala on the 1600 block of South Washtenaw, according to prosecutors. But the case remained unsolved for another six months.
In November 2018, police arrested Venegas again after he allegedly got out of a stolen car and ran from officers who tried to stop him for a traffic violation, according to court records. He was once again released on a recognizance bond.
The next month, Venegas shot and killed 23-year-old Rigoberto Rodriguez as he tried to rob Rodriguez of a necklace, prosecutors said. Police arrested Venegas nearby with the help of witnesses.
Prosecutors charged him with Rodriguez’s murder the next day. Then, in February 2019, they charged Venegas with killing Davala, too. Venegas is being held without bail.
Woman beaten with pipe
When Chicago police arrested 46-year-old Dionte Young for manufacture-delivery of heroin and cocaine on October 30, 2019, it was the sixth time he faced criminal charges in 10 months, according to CPD records. Most of his previous arrests were narcotics-related and all of the cases were dropped by prosecutors.
Young posted a $500 deposit bond to get out of jail following the October 30 arrest.
While on bail in February, Young allegedly beat a 31-year-old woman with a metal pipe and his bare hands. The woman suffered head trauma and a fractured skull, according to police. Prosecutors charged Young with attempted murder the next day.
He is now being held without bail.