Prosecutors on Wednesday accused a Belmont Cragin man of fatally shooting 20-year-old Adam Lique in a drive-by shooting in Albany Park last September. Maverick Cela is now the 38th person charged with killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago last year while on bond for another felony case.
Cela was the back seat passenger of a car driven by 20-year-old Prezila Apreza when they rode past Lique, who was standing on the 3600 block of West Lawrence, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said. Surveillance video allegedly shows Cela extending a gun out of the back passenger window and shooting Lique around 6:20 p.m. on September 16. A witness heard Cela say, “I got him,” according to Deboni.
Lique tried to run away, but he collapsed on the sidewalk and later died. Several bullets went through the window of a nearby cellular store and lodged in the wall, Deboni said. According to the state, police found a handgun in Lique’s possession, but it had not been fired. Nine shell casings were found at the scene.
Apreza drove to the 5700 block of North Kimball where she, Cela, and a front seat passenger moved to a different vehicle and left the area, according to Deboni. She later returned to the Kimball location to retrieve the car, he said.
Police eventually located the car used in the shooting after Skokie police came upon it during a separate investigation, Deboni said. Its plates were allegedly registered to Apreza, and the car has unique body damage that is seen on surveillance footage of the murder, according to Deboni.
Cellphone data shows Cela and Apreza traveling together before, during, and after the murder, Deboni said. They also had Facebook conversations about the case, he said. Apreza admitted to investigators that she was driving with Cela and changing the plates on her car before and after the murder, Deboni said.
On Wednesday, Apreza’s defense attorney said she had no idea what Cela was going to do in the back seat of her car, and she should be considered a witness, not a defendant in the case.
She has pending identity theft and resisting police cases, Deboni said, but those are connected to actions that allegedly took place after the murder. She also has a juvenile adjudication for aggravated battery, he said.
Cela was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for two robberies in 2017, Deboni said. Last August, prosecutors charged him with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Judge David Navarro released him on his own recognizance in that case, court records show.
Navarro was on the bench again Wednesday as prosecutors laid out first-degree murder allegations against Cela and Apreza during a bond court hearing. The judge ordered them both held without bail.
Court records show Cela was charged with two gun counts and criminal trespass to a vehicle in October — after the murder, but while still on bond for the August stolen vehicle charge. In that case, police allegedly found Cela driving a stolen car near his home. Investigators who were eyeing him in a larger stolen vehicle investigation executed a search warrant at his home the next day and found a shotgun, shotgun shells, and a loaded handgun in his bedroom, prosecutors alleged in October.
On October 26, Judge Mary Marubio set Cela’s bail at $100,000 in the new gun and criminal trespass to vehicle charges. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of release in the pending stolen motor vehicle case. Another judge released the no-bond hold, and Cela went home by posting bond. Police arrested him Monday on the murder charge.
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