Remember last week when WBEZ reported that advisors to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department “were able to find only two examples of bail decisions leading to new gun crimes” when a Crain’s Chicago Business columnist asked for evidence to support the city’s claims that electronic monitoring and low bail bond amounts were putting gun offenders back on the streets?
Anyway, between Memorial Day grilling and lakefront strolls, we dipped into the weekend’s felony bond court hearings on YouTube to hear if anyone was being charged with a new gun case while on bail for another gun case. Here are a few that we happened to catch. Maybe next time the Crain’s columnist will ask us for examples instead of the mayor’s office. We can be very helpful.
• Late Saturday night, workers at a Loop hotel called 911 twice to report seeing a man with a gun inside the building. Police searched the area for a man who matched the description witnesses gave. They found Davin Hunter, 18, a juvenile, and a third person standing on the 200 block of South Clark and struck up a conversation.
Police say they found a loaded handgun in Hunter’s waistband. And the juvenile allegedly had a gun, too. Prosecutors said Hunter admitted the gun in his waistband belonged to him and surveillance video allegedly shows him with the gun.
Hunter has another gun case pending.
“You’re 18. You got a pending weapons case in the Markham courthouse. Now alleged to be in possession of another weapon downtown, May 29, at 11 o’clock at night,” Judge David Navarro said before ordering Hunter held without bail for violating terms of release in the ongoing case. The judge said Hunter would need to post $2,500 to get out of jail on the new charge. The juvenile was also charged with gun possession, police said.
• On Friday, Jesus Sanchez appeared in bond court on new charges of illegally possessing a firearm in a car earlier in the day. Sanchez already has another case pending for aggravated kidnapping with a firearm and other felonies.
In November 2018, a judge ordered Sanchez held without bail after prosecutors said he pointed a stolen gun to his girlfriend’s face and said, “I should kill you for losing my money,” Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.
The incident resulted in the kidnapping charge, a gun charge, and a charge of aggravated domestic battery by strangling. He was on juvenile parole at the time for armed robbery and was also convicted of carjacking as a teen, Scaduto said.
The next month, a different judge reduced his no-bail hold to $550,000 with electronic GPS monitoring, but Sanchez was never able to raise the $55,000 needed to get out of jail. Then, in December 2020, a judge agreed to lower Sanchez’ bail again — to $85,000. Sanchez paid a 10% deposit and walked out of jail in January.
Around 2:15 a.m. Thursday, Sanchez — still on juvenile parole for armed robbery and on bail for the armed kidnapping case — was the passenger in a car that police pulled over for a traffic violation in the 4000 block of South Western, Scaduto said. When police took the driver into custody for driving without a license, they allegedly saw Sanchez reaching the floorboard.
Cops ordered Sanchez, 20, out of the car and immediately saw the butt of a loaded handgun sticking out from under the seat he was in, Scaduto said. They arrested him and prosecutors charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Judge Navarro ordered Sanchez held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the armed kidnapping case. Navarro then set bail for the new gun charge at $550,000.
“It is my intention that you remain in custody,” Navarro said after setting the high bond amount. Navarro said that state law prohibits him from holding Sanchez without bail in the new gun case.
• Larry McCurry was in bond court Sunday to face new charges of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and domestic battery. According to prosecutors, police responded to a domestic incident earlier in the day and met with the mother of McCurry’s child, who told them he punched her with his fists. She let cops into her apartment and officers found McCurry sitting on the couch with a loaded handgun next to his right leg, prosecutors said. The state plans to upgrade his new case to Class X armed habitual criminal.
McCurry was on bail for a misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon charge at the time of his arrest — a case that he failed to appear in court for on May 11, prosecutors said. Judge David Navarro said McCurry could get out of jail again by posting a $2,500 deposit on the new charge and another $100 for violating the terms of release in the pending case.
• Also appearing before Navarro on Sunday was Keenan Campbell. Prosecutors said police found a gun with a loaded 50-round ammunition magazine inside a bag lying at his feet during a traffic stop. He allegedly admitted that the bag belonged to him and his keys were inside the bag, too, prosecutors said.
Campbell was given a recognizance bond when prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon in August 2020. Navarro on Sunday ordered him held without bail for violating terms of bond in that case and said he’d need to post $5,000 to get out of jail on the new charge.
• Police approached a car that was parked in a crosswalk in the Austin neighborhood over the weekend. They allegedly saw a bottle of open alcohol on the passenger floorboard and smelled burning weed, so the cops asked everyone to get out of the car.
There was a loaded gun inside the glove compartment, prosecutors said. The car’s driver, Marvell Freeman, allegedly told cops he keeps the gun for protection.
Freeman has a case pending for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, prosecutors said. Navarro ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of release in that case and said he’d need to post $2,500 to get out of jail on the new gun charge.