#14A: Man on felony bail killed acquaintance over a half-pound of weed, prosecutors say

Cartez McGary | CPD

Three months ago, we profiled Cartez McGary as the 14th person charged with shooting, killing, or trying to kill someone in Chicago this year while on bond for another felony. Prosecutors said he shot a man during a robbery.

On Thursday, prosecutors charged McGary with shooting another man dead in a dispute over marijuana. He was on felony bail during that alleged crime, too.

The April charges — aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, armed robbery by discharging a firearm, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon — stem from a botched robbery at a gas station on March 17.

Prosecutors said surveillance video shows McGary, 22, arriving at the station in his gold Chrysler minivan and eventually shooting the victim during a hold-up attempt at the gas pumps.

Surveillance cameras recorded the incident, and the footage clearly shows McGary’s face, prosecutors said. And he allegedly lost his phone and gun in a struggle with the victim.

That’s all important because detectives used gas station video footage of the gold minivan, data from the phone, and ballistics testing of the gun to link McGary to the murder he was charged with on Thursday.

A couple of weeks before the gas station shooting, at 3:35 a.m. on February 28, 32-year-old Lesean Long was hanging out at his girlfriend’s house when he got a phone call and went outside. Someone shot him dead.

Police arrived at the scene quickly enough to see a gold Chrysler minivan speeding from the area. They broadcast the van’s license plate number on the police radio and tried to pull the vehicle over, but it got away. The cops did manage to get a good look at the driver, Murphy said. CPD surveillance video allegedly shows the minivan leaving the scene, too.

Casings from the gas station shooting match casings at Long’s murder scene, according to Murphy. The cops who tried to pull the minivan over after the shooting allegedly identified McGary as the driver.

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McGary spoke with detectives during their investigation and allegedly told them Long owed him a half-pound of marijuana. He admitted to shooting Long but insisted he did it because Long lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun in his waistband, Murphy said.

But police didn’t find any guns near Long’s body, according to Murphy.

While the murder investigation was underway, Cook County Judge Thomas Hennelly decided that McGary shouldn’t be held without bail on the pending robbery and shooting case anymore. Instead, Hennelly allowed him to get out of jail by posting a $20,000 deposit bond. McGary’s mom posted that on May 27, and McGary walked out of jail.

Less than two weeks later, an arrest warrant was issued for McGary for Long’s murder. When police caught up with McGary on Wednesday, he jumped out of a third-floor apartment window, breaking “numerous” bones in both of his legs, Murphy said.

When McGary allegedly killed Long and then pulled off the gas station robbery, he was on bail for felony aggravated fleeing and eluding.

After hearing about the allegations, Judge Susana Ortiz ordered McGary held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the fleeing and eluding case.

But Ortiz said she could not hold McGary without bail on the murder charge because he was in the hospital with broken legs Thursday. State law requires defendants to be present before a judge can order them held without bail, she said.

Instead, Ortiz set bail in the murder case at $2 million cash. Ortiz also ordered him to go on to electronic monitoring should he come up with the $2 million.

“You never know,” she said.

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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