More than a year after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans declared “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under his affordable bail initiative, CWBChicago continues to find plenty of cases to dispute his claim.
Last July, as Chicago’s violence continued to rise, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx defended Evans’ bail policies and said the city’s rising violent crime was a two-month “anomaly.” The next month was the worst for homicides in the city since the 1950s. So far this year, murders are up 34% in Chicago, according to CPD. The number of shooting victims in the city is up 43% compared to last year, police say.
Today, in separate cases, we’ll introduce you to the 13th and 14th persons charged with shooting, killing, or trying to kill someone in Chicago this year while on bail for other felonies.
On March 28, Joshua Castro’s girlfriend hopped on a party bus to celebrate a man’s birthday. After spending time out, his girlfriend asked him to come pick her up. When he arrived, the birthday celebrant and another man walked his girlfriend to Castro’s car to make sure she got there safely, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Burkhardt said.
Castro, 19, looked agitated, started asking a lot of questions, and then told the men that he was “loaded” — meaning he had a gun, according to Burkhardt. The group began to argue, and Castro allegedly pulled a gun from his sweatshirt, firing one round.
The bullet passed completely through the birthday party honoree’s ankle, fracturing both bones in his lower right leg, and continued to strike another person nearby, Burkhardt said.
Castro left before police arrived, but several witnesses identified him by name as the shooter, according to Burkhardt. Police arrested him the next day.
Burkhardt said prosecutors considered filing attempted murder charges but settled for a count of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. Castro has been free on a recognizance bond in a pending burglary case since January 21, Burkhardt told Judge Susana Ortiz.
The judge ordered Castro held without bail.
Cartez McGary, 22, is charged with shooting a man during an armed robbery at a gas station on March 17.
Prosecutors said surveillance video shows McGary arriving at the station in his car and then going inside where he saw the victim. McGary allegedly went back to his car, moved it to the other side of the station, got out, pulled his hoodie over his head, donned a COVID mask, and put something into his waistband.
When the victim left the store and got into his van, McGary walked up and pointed a gun to his face, and demanded everything he had, prosecutors said. The victim leaned back at the exact moment that McGary fired a bullet at him, according to prosecutors. The round grazed the victim’s eyebrow and blew out one of the van’s windows.
With that, the victim fought back. He grabbed McGary’s gun and both men fell to the ground in a fight during which McGary’s hoodie and mask came loose — revealing his face and hair for the station’s surveillance cameras, prosecutors said. The victim allegedly disarmed McGary and threw the gun. McGary dropped his phone, ran to his car, and sped away, according to the allegations.
Police tracked McGary down using his license plate number, the phone he allegedly left behind, and the gas station’s surveillance footage. Cops also recovered a handgun at the scene.
Prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, armed robbery by discharging a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and motor vehicle violations. At the time of the alleged robbery, McGary was on bond for felony fleeing and eluding. He was released after posting a $500 deposit in that case.
After hearing the new robbery and shooting allegations, Judge Arthur Willis ordered McGary held without bail.
- At least 32 people charged with murder in Chicago last year were free on bail at the time of the killings (January 4, 2021)
- We find another man accused of committing murder while on affordable bail in 2020 (January 9, 2021)
- #1: 16-year-old charged with shooting man during robbery while awaiting trial for felony (January 12, 2021)
- #2: Man fatally shot girlfriend while on electronic monitoring for November gun case, prosecutors say (January 20, 2021)
- #3: On bail for 3 separate felony cases, “fanged” man now charged with killing 12-year-old in DUI crash (January 23, 2021)
- #4: Man on affordable bail for his 3rd felony gun case is charged with weekend murder (January 28, 2021)
- #5: Man charged with murder while on bail for 3rd gun case and escape (February 5, 2021)
- #6: Man, on bail for attempted murder and robbery, charged with killing woman while speeding away from police traffic stop (February 25, 2021)
- #7: Teen accused of shooting driver during Wednesday carjacking is awaiting trial for 3 felonies, prosecutors say (February 25, 2021)
- #8: “Highly active” gang member charged with killing rival over haircut — while on affordable bail (March 4, 2021)
- #9: On bail for five burglaries, man set fire to home, killing girlfriend and 10-year-old girl, prosecutors say (March 12, 2021)
- #10: Man, on bail for gun case, is charged with attempted murder for shooting at carjacking victims (March 17, 2021)
- #11: Man who shot cop and passerby hoped to be killed by CPD, prosecutors say (March 20, 2021)
- #12: Man charged with shooting co-worker while on affordable bail for Lincoln Park carjacking (April 2, 2021)