Earlier this week, CWB reported that our team had identified 32 people charged with murder, attempted murder, or shooting someone in 2020 while free on “affordable bail” for other serious felonies. Four of those defendants are accused of shooting or killing more than one person.
Since then, we’ve found another case, bringing the new totals to at least 33 defendants with at least 37 victims.
Over and over
The newly-discovered case involves 20-year-old Kiante Byrd.
Between March and November 2019, police arrested Byrd six times for narcotics and narcotic sale ordinance violations. He was arrested a seventh time for criminal trespass to a vehicle. All of those cases were dropped except one — the November case, which is charged as manufacture-delivery of heroin and fentanyl. He was released on a recognizance bond.
On May 16, 2020, police arrested him for manufacture-delivery of cocaine after police allegedly saw him selling to pedestrians and car passengers. When cops took him into custody, Byrd reached into his waistband and handed them a bag containing four smaller bags of crack, police said in his arrest report. He was carrying $418 cash.
Prosecutors dropped the charge the very next day.
Three days after that, police arrested Byrd again after he allegedly sold narcotics to an undercover cop. Prosecutors dropped that case the very next day, too.
And 10 days after that, while still on bond for the November 2019 heroin case, Byrd shot and killed 18-year-old high school student Lazarra Daniels, according to prosecutors. Daniels was one of 18 people murdered in Chicago on May 31, the bloodiest one-day tally in the city in more than 60 years.
Two people shot during two carjackings
The case of Javon Readus was included in our earlier totals.
Prosecutors charged Readus, 23, and Marcus Whatley, 22, with shooting two people in separate carjacking attempts in November. During their bond hearing, prosecutors said Readus had pending cases for identity theft, operating a continuing financial crime enterprise, and escape from electronic monitoring at the time of the shootings.
According to the state’s allegations, Readus and Whatley pulled guns and tried to carjack a concealed carry holder and his sister on the West Side as they returned from a shopping trip on the day before Thanksgiving. The man shot at the duo, who fired at least 17 rounds in return, striking the man in the arm and grazing his head, prosecutors said.
Then, on November 30, Readus and Whatley tried to carjack a family at gunpoint as the victims returned to their West Side home from the airport, according to prosecutors. When the family’s sped away from the scene, Whatley and Readus fired 27 rounds at them, prosecutors said. The father of the family was shot, but the others escaped injury.
Police arrested Readus and Whatley as they sat in an allegedly stolen car outside a department store on the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue five days later.
Prosecutors charged each of the men with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking by discharging of a firearm, two counts of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, and other charges.