There is never a shortage of stories to tell about people being accused of heinous crimes while free on affordable bail or parole. But Tuesday’s bond court hearings in Chicago produced a cornucopia of examples. Legitimate turkeys of justice. We’ll be telling you about them today. Here are links to our first installment and the second case.
A Chicago man who’s on parole for illegal gun possession and on bail for another felony case shot a woman last week as the victim’s mother, cousin, and three young children sat nearby, according to prosecutors.
The alleged victim, age 24, was driving her family members home from a candlelight vigil when she almost bumped into another vehicle at a West Side gas station around 8 p.m. last Friday.
The other driver got out of her car and began arguing with the victim — then the victim’s mother threw a Pepsi at the other driver. As the women argued, a man appeared on the scene and fired three or four shots into the family’s minivan. One round struck the victim in her thigh. She was treated and released from a hospital the same day.
The victim’s mother, cousin, and children ages 5, 7, and 11, escaped injury.
Later that night, an anonymous tipster told detectives that the gunman is 25-year-old Romell Young, prosecutors said. The tip came from someone who said they know Young and claimed they saw him fire the gun. According to prosecutors, they even described what Young was wearing at the time of the shooting.
Detectives created a photo line-up that included a picture of Young. The shooting victim allegedly identified him as the shooter. Cops arrested him Saturday.
Prosecutors charged Young with aggravated battery by discharge of a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance.
Young’s defense attorney told Judge Susana Ortiz, “The state doesn’t have the right guy here,” and argued that prosecutors built their case on an anonymous tip and a line-up.
State records show Young was paroled late last year after serving half of a three-year sentence for unlawful use of a weapon. Over the summer, prosecutors charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm after Chicago police said they found him carrying a gun.
The Illinois Department of Corrections revoked his parole on August 19, but he was released again on October 5. Prosecutors said the alleged shooting is also a violation of the terms of bail bond that he received in a pending felony narcotics case.
“Most disturbing to the court is that in addition to being on parole for a weapons offense and on bond for a felony offense, this alleged firing occurred into a minivan that was occupied by children — people on their way home from some sort of a funeral,” Judge Ortiz said.
She then ordered Young held without bail. IDOC also asked county officials to hold Young without bail while they consider revoking his parole again.