There are a lot of things that will send your eyebrows rising during Chicago’s daily felony bond court hearings. But among the more perplexing are the people accused of illegally carrying firearms while, according to their defense attorneys, they are active members of anti-violence groups.
The past few days have been extra perplexing. At least three men who are supposedly working to end gun violence in Chicago were charged with illegally carrying guns this week while they were already on bond for other felony gun cases. One of the men’s pending cases includes allegations that he shot at two people.
When Sendalio Williams, 25, appeared before Judge John Lyke on Saturday afternoon, it was the second time in four months that he stood in front of the same judge on a new gun charge. Prosecutors said cops watching a CPD surveillance camera feed Friday saw Williams pull a handgun out of a satchel and point it at a woman who appeared to be recording him on her phone.
Prosecutors said officers went to the scene, chased Williams, and found a loaded gun in his satchel.
Williams also appeared before Lyke on May 3. In that case, cops watching a CPD surveillance camera feed allegedly saw him fire a gun and jump into a black SUV. Police pulled the car over and allegedly found a gun in the trunk behind him. Prosecutors said he admitted to police that he fired the gun in the direction of two other men.
He was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Lyke ordered Williams to pay a $1,000 deposit to get out of jail on electronic monitoring in the May case, but another judge nixed the ankle monitor requirement at a later hearing, court records show.
On Saturday, after Williams was charged with a fresh unlawful use of a weapon case, his defense attorney told Lyke he studied criminal justice at Westwood College and “works with CeaseFire to educate kids about gun violence.” He’s been with the group for about two months, the attorney said.
Lyke ordered Williams held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the May case and set bail on the new gun charges at $80,000. Williams will need to post $8,000 and go onto electronic monitoring after his no-bail hold is cleared up, Lyke said.
Also appearing before Lyke on Saturday was 41-year-old William Jenkins, who has worked for two years “canvassing neighborhoods and high crime areas to cut down on shootings,” according to his public defender.
Police allegedly found a loaded handgun with an extended ammunition magazine sticking out of a backpack between the front seats of his car during a traffic stop on Friday. Jenkins, who received a 20-year sentence for attempted murder in 1999, has a pending unlawful use of a weapon by a felon case, prosecutors said.
Lyke ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in that pending case. Jenkins will need to post a $10,000 deposit to get out of jail on electronic monitoring if he becomes eligible for release, Lyke said.
Last Sunday, Darnell Hite appeared for a bond hearing in front of Judge Charles Beach.
When police pulled Hite over for a traffic stop near the Magnificent Mile around noon last Saturday, he reached into his fanny pack to get his license. That’s when police allegedly saw the butt of a handgun sticking out of the bag. According to court records, Hite already has an unlawful use of a weapon case pending from June 2020.
His defense attorney told Beach that he’s married, “works outreach to stop violence,” and is an active church member.
Beach ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of release in the pending gun case and set bail on the new charge at $75,000. Hite will need to post $7,500 to get out of jail after the no-bail hold is cleared up.
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