Man charged with murder for May 2020 shooting in Rogers Park

Desmen Williams | CPD

Prosecutors have charged a man with fatally shooting 22-year-old Jemel Murphy in Rogers Park one year ago. Desmen Williams, 29, was ordered held without bail by Judge Charles Beach during a bond court hearing Thursday morning.

Murphy was apparently not the intended victim of the shooting, according to a summary of allegations that prosecutors presented to Beach.

Prosecutor said Williams got into an argument with a person who was with Murphy outside a restaurant near the Howard CTA station around 3:15 p.m. on May 6, 2020. At one point, the other person punched Williams, who pulled a crowbar out of his Jeep, which was parked nearby, prosecutors said.

A witness broke up the confrontation, and Williams drove away in his black Jeep after saying he would be back, according to prosecutors.

About 40 minutes later, Murphy and the person who was in the confrontation with Williams were standing in the 1600 block of West Jonquil Terrace when a black Jeep rolled up and its driver began shooting at them, prosecutors said.

One bullet passed through Murphy’s arm and lodged in his chest. He died of his wounds at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. The person who argued with Williams allegedly identified him as the shooter.

Cellphone location data, police surveillance cameras, and a CPD license plate reader put Williams’ phone and Jeep in the area of the shooting, according to prosecutors. Police located and impounded Williams’ Jeep two days after the murder. Investigators executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found a crowbar inside and gunshot residue on the Jeep’s interior, prosecutors said.

Cops arrested Williams on Tuesday in the 6100 block of North Washtenaw and impounded the car he was allegedly in. Officers who executed a search warrant on that vehicle found a loaded handgun, cannabis, and ten bars of psilocybin inside a fanny pack, prosecutors said.

Williams has a license to own firearms in Illinois, but he does not have a concealed carry license, according to prosecutors. He is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com