At least 32 people charged with murder in Chicago last year were free on bail at the time of the killings

Welcome to the first 2021 installment of “Not Horrible,” our ongoing series of reports about people who have been charged with committing serious and violent crimes while on bail for other serious and violent crimes.

We borrowed the name “Not Horrible” from a statement Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans made during budget hearings on November 4, 2019: “It’s not by magic that we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur using this new [affordable bail] system.”

Evans’ claim was false at the time and has been repeatedly shown to be false since — unless his definition of “horrible” is different from most Chicagoans’.

So far, CWB reporters have identified 32 people who were charged with committing murder, attempted murder, or aggravated battery with a firearm while free on bail for serious felonies in 2020. Four of the accused men are charged with shooting, and sometimes killing, more than one person.

But the actual number of killings and shootings committed by persons on bail is almost certainly much higher. As of the new year, arrests have been made in just 27% of Chicago’s 2020 murders and 2.7% (Yes. Two point seven percent) of non-fatal shootings, according to CPD data.

Carjacking murder

The fatal shooting of retired Chicago Fire Dept. Lt. Dwain Williams during a carjacking attempt last month is one of the highest-profile murders of 2020. Police released video of the killing and have since arrested four people in connection with the crime.

One of those persons is Devin Barron, 20, who collected five convictions as a juvenile and was free on bond for four pending cases at the time of Williams’ murder. One of those pending cases was for a home invasion and kidnapping just five weeks before Williams was killed.

Prosecutors said video shows Barron getting out of the rear passenger seat of a car moments before he shot Williams. According to the state’s allegations, Barron had three guns when police caught up with him.

Murder and more

Antonio Reyes, 17, was given three years probation in juvenile court for aggravated robbery and aggravated battery in December 2019. When he allegedly shot a man last month, he had four more juvenile cases pending — for armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful use of a weapon, and a narcotics case — prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have also charged him as an adult with killing a man last summer and, they say, he’s suspected of participating in a third shooting.

Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said last month that Reyes shot 26-year-old Davalos Garcia as Garcia waited for his girlfriend to come out of her house on June 24, 2020.

About four hours after Garcia’s murder, a car similar to the one used by his killer was involved in another shooting, but both of the victims in that case survived. Investigators tracked a temporary license plate on the car to an auto body shop that sold the vehicle to the mother of Reyes’ child four days before the murder, DeBoni said, but no charges have yet been filed.

Then, on November 26, a 27-year-old man noticed two men in a Jeep staring at him as he looked at apartment listings on a pole near 58th Street and Central Park. Minutes later, the man was shot by someone who fired from inside the Jeep, DeBoni said. The gunman was wearing a surgical mask, but the victim was later able to identify Reyes by his eyes, eyebrows, and forehead, according to DeBoni.

Cops found the Jeep abandoned two days after the shooting with a shell casing under its windshield wiper that has a “high correlation” to shell casings found at the November 26 shooting scene, DeBoni said.

Police allegedly tracked the Jeep’s license plate to Reyes’ grandmother. She had reported the Jeep stolen, DeBoni said, and she denied knowing her own grandson when police asked about him.

Reyes denies all charges, his attorney said during a bond hearing in December. Judge David Navarro set his bail at $500,000.

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About CWBChicago 6347 Articles
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