Chicago bond court *again* filled with people facing gun charges while on bail for pending gun cases

At least six people on bond for gun crimes were charged with new gun crimes during felony bond court proceedings in Chicago on Wednesday.

Two of the accused, arrested together, were both escapees from the county’s electronic monitoring program that was supposed to keep them at home while they awaited trial in pending gun cases. They’re both accused of being on the street with guns equipped with extended ammunition magazines and devices that would allow their weapons to generate automatic fire like a machine gun.

Another defendant who appeared Wednesday allegedly took part in a gun battle that littered 55 shell casings on a North Side bowling alley parking lot.

Yet another man was accused of having a gun in a car while on bond for attempted murder charges stemming from a 2018 shooting case.

These tales will surely be eye-openers for news outlets that recently reported city officials could only find a total of two cases in recent years in which people were charged with new gun crimes in the city while on bail for another gun crime.

Here are some details from some of yesterday’s “repeat” cases.

Bowling alley shoot-out

Robin Burks, 28, was charged with engaging in a shoot-out with two other men on the parking lot of Diversey River Bowl early Tuesday. His pregnant girlfriend was shot during the incident, which left 55 shell casings in the lot and nearby street, according to police and prosecutors. He was on bail for illegal possession of a handgun at the time. You can read more about the case here.

Two gun cases in two months

Police arrested Joel Wells for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon on April 6 after he was allegedly caught carrying a gun illegally. A judge released him on his own recognizance.

Wells, a 32-year-old father of two, was back in bond court Wednesday — less than two months after he was charged in the pending gun case.

Earlier this week, police approached a group Wells was standing with on the street and allegedly saw him reach through the driver’s window of his nearby car. Cops went to the car and saw a loaded handgun lying on his passenger seat, prosecutors said. Wells admitted to handling the gun and knowing that there was a gun in his car, according to the state.

Judge Mary Marubio said he’ll need to post $8,500 to get out of jail this time.

On bail for attempted murder

In another case, police responded to a call of several people flashing guns on a South Side street around 10 p.m. Tuesday. The group “froze” as police pulled up, Assistant State’s Attorney Loraine Scaduto said, but Tyree Cooper allegedly grabbed his waistband and ran toward a nearby Mercedes. Cooper, 22, was also on bond for attempted murder.

Scaduto said Cooper got into the car’s passenger seat, took a loaded handgun from his waistband, and stashed it behind the driver’s seat. He then got out and ran, she said. Cops arrested him after a short foot chase.

In the pending attempted murder case, Cooper is accused of shooting a man multiple times in the back and leg as the alleged victim walked past him on the 400 block of East 80th Street on June 28, 2018. A judge originally ordered him held without bail in the case, but another judge reduced his bond to $40,000 in January of this year. Cooper posted 10% of that to go home.

Scaduto added that “days ago,” Cooper was also arrested in Livingston County for illegal possession of ammunition and reckless driving.

On Wednesday, Judge Marubio ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the attempted murder case. She set bail at $50,000 in the new gun case. Cooper will need to post $5,000 and go onto electronic monitoring to get out of jail — if the judge in the attempted murder case decides to grant him bond.

A two-fer

Then, there’s 21-year-old Paul Jones and 23-year-old Perry Sykes.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, officers approached a group of people who were blocking traffic in the middle of a road. Prosecutors said Jones and Sykes were in the group and they both ran when cops arrived. Officers chased them.

When police caught them, each man had a loaded handgun with an extended magazine, prosecutors said. And both weapons were allegedly equipped with an after-market switch that allows them to spray automatic gunfire.

Both Sykes and Jones were on electronic monitoring for pending gun cases and prosecutors said they were both missing from the home monitoring program. Jones is also on probation for yet another gun case, prosecutors said.

Jones’ pending charge is an unlawful use of a weapon by a felon charge that was filed in September 2020. A judge initially ordered him held in lieu of $100,000. But another judge later reduced bond to $40,000. Jones posted a 10% deposit of $4,000 and went home on electronic monitoring. But he allegedly failed to appear in court his spring and a warrant was issued for his arrest on May 17.

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Judge Marubio on Wednesday ordered him held without bail for violating probation and without bail for violating the terms of bail bond. She set bail at $250,000 on a new escape charge and $100,000 on the new gun charge. He’ll need to post $35,000 and go onto electronic monitoring again, should he become eligible for release.

Sykes has a pending gun case and a pending aggravated fleeing and eluding case, prosecutors said. He posted $5,000 to go onto electronic monitoring on April 10, 2020. About two months later, he went missing and a warrant was issued for his arrest on June 22 of last year. He’s been in the wind ever since.

Marubio ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of release in his pending cases and set bail at $250,000 on his new escape charge and $100,000 on the new gun case. He’ll need to post $35,000 and go onto electronic monitoring if he becomes eligible for release, she said.

Related reporting

Report claims officials could find only 2 times when people on bail for gun cases contributed to Chicago’s violence. Please, allow us to help. (May 27, 2021)

Again: Man’s accused of having gun in car — while on bail for first-degree murder (June 2, 2021)

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