No bail for River North attack suspect who says prosecutors are ‘putting it all on me’

Brandon Jefferson | CPD

Prosecutors said a man who allegedly participated in the beating and robbery of two men in the middle of State Street last weekend was wearing one of the victims’ necklaces and driving their stolen car when police arrested him Monday evening.

“They just putting it all on me. That’s not right,” Brandon Jefferson said after Judge Arthur Willis ordered him held without bail Thursday afternoon.

“If you saw the video, you should know,” Jefferson, 33, continued.

The incident began around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, when one of the victims, identified by Fox Chicago as 55-year-old restaurant chef Edwin Barone, was working on his laptop inside a local bar while wearing headphones, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

A man who would later appear to instigate the attacks began commenting about the laptop, and Barone thought the guy might be planning to steal it, so he handed the device to the bartender for safekeeping.

When Barone stepped outside for a moment, the other man began chasing him down the 400 block of North State Street, and Jefferson — wearing a black baseball hat and no shirt — became involved in the altercation, Murphy said. Jefferson took Barone’s wallet when it fell from his pocket, Murphy said.

Meanwhile, the second victim left the same bar and was knocked unconscious when the unknown attacker punched him in the head. According to Murphy, Jefferson and several others attacked and stole property from the second man, who is 40-years-old.

Barone suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, a concussion, and multiple cuts and abrasions. The second victim’s orbital bone was fractured in two places. He also has a broken nose and other injuries. He lost his wallet, a crucifix necklace, two phones, his car keys, and a large amount of cash that was in his pockets, Murphy said. His car was also taken from its parking spot.

On Monday evening, police found the stolen car at a gas station in the Robert Taylor Homes neighborhood, according to CPD. Jefferson, who was wearing the stolen crucifix necklace, was driving it, Murphy said. Both victims allegedly identified Jefferson in photo line-ups as one of the attackers.

An assistant public defender said Jefferson is married and has three kids. While she said he is homeless, the attorney also said he had a residence to stay on electronic monitoring. But the judge ordered him to stay in jail instead.

Our exclusive and original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please make a contribution to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.

About CWBChicago 6766 Articles
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