Another man, free on bail for two felonies, charged with killing retired fireman in botched carjacking

Jalen Saulsberry | CPD

Prosecutors on Friday charged a fourth person with killing retired Chicago Fire Dept. Lt. Dwain Williams during a botched carjacking on December 3.

Like one of the other defendants, Jalen Saulsberry has a violent juvenile history and was free on a recognizance bond for gun charges and for possessing a stolen motor vehicle at the time of Williams’ murder.

Saulsberry is at least the 34th person to be charged with shooting or killing someone in Chicago last year while on affordable bail for another serious felony, according to CWBChicago research. Those 34 defendants are accused of killing or shooting a total of 37 people.

During Saulsberry’s bail hearing Friday, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said the four defendants trailed Williams in traffic as the 65-year-old drove to a popcorn shop. The group allegedly parked nearby while Williams shopped, then moved in to take his car as he emerged from the store.

Surveillance video of the crime shows Saulsberry getting out of the front passenger seat and moving toward Williams with a gun in his hand along with another armed offender, Murphy said.

Williams, a concealed carry holder, took cover and began firing at the attackers, who returned fire.

According to Murphy, the video shows Saulsberry falling and then getting back up as he retreats from the gun battle. One of Saulsberry’s shoes flew off as he ran across the street, Murphy said. Police recovered the shoe and found DNA on it that matches Saulsberry’s, the veteran prosecutor alleged.

A man identified by prosecutors as Jalen Saulsberry runs from the shooting scene as one of his shoes bounces in the street. | CPD video

Saulsberry’s fingerprints were found on the getaway car, which had been stolen before the murder, and on the car’s license plate, which was inside the trunk, Murphy said.

FBI agents arrested Saulsberry in Pennsylvania on December 30. He was extradited to Chicago this week.

Saulsberry is also charged with committing another carjacking in suburban South Holland on November 6. He fired two shots into the air during that hijacking, Murphy said.

In 2019, Saulsberry was convicted of three felonies as a juvenile: Vehicular hijacking, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to Murphy.

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On September 29, 2020, he was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a stolen motor vehicle in adult court. A judge released him on his own recognizance.

After hearing the state’s allegations, Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Saulsberry to be held without bail.

CWBChicago previously reported that Devon Barron, one of the other men accused of killing Williams during the failed carjacking, was on bond for four cases, including home invasion and kidnapping at the time of the murder. Barron, 20, collected five convictions as a juvenile.

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