A Chicago man who’s accused of driving a stolen car last month dialed in for a Zoom court appearance in the case while sitting behind the wheel of yet another stolen car Tuesday, according to prosecutors.
“Are you telling me that when the police approached the defendant [on Tuesday], he was in the middle of a Zoom court hearing?” a flummoxed Judge David Navarro asked an assistant state’s attorney after hearing the allegations.
“Yes, your honor. That is correct.”
Back on March 8, police arrested Joshua Slaughter after he was allegedly caught driving a stolen Dodge Charger in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. The Charger didn’t have a front license plate, and its rear plate came back stolen out of Naperville, according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli.
Slaughter, 32, gave the cops “conflicting information” about the Charger’s status and the license plate, she said.
Prosecutors charged him with misdemeanor criminal trespass to vehicle, possessing an unauthorized title or registration, and driving on a suspended license. According to records, Judge Arthur Willis released him on a recognizance bond and ordered him to appear in court via Zoom on March 30.
Slaughter did exactly that — albeit while allegedly sitting behind the wheel of a stolen BMW X5.
As the Zoom hearing proceeded, police pulled up behind the BMW to investigate a report that it was stolen, according to the state. When cops walked up to the car, they realized Slaughter was appearing in court via his phone.
Officers researched the BMW’s registration and determined that it had been stolen from a dealership in Nashville, prosecutors told Judge Navarro. Police even called the car dealer to confirm the luxury car’s status, they said.
Cops seized the BMW and took Slaughter into custody. Prosecutors charged him with another misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a vehicle. They told Judge Navarro that Slaughter has previously been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and vehicular hijacking.
But Slaughter’s public defender said there’s no evidence Slaughter knew the car he was sitting in during his court hearing for a stolen car case was also stolen.
Judge Navarro set bail for the new charges at $10,000. Slaughter went home by posting a $1,000 deposit.
Slaughter is required to appear in court via Zoom for the BMW case on April 13 — hopefully from somewhere other than the driver’s seat of a stolen car.