Witness’ phone video, enhanced by forensics lab, leads to charges in Wicker Park murder

Tommie Brown | CPD

A Wicker Park man is charged with murder after a federal forensics laboratory enhanced a witness’ phone video to determine that his wife summoned him to “come handle” the victim after a dispute, prosecutors said Wednesday.

James Madrid died from six gunshot wounds to his back on the 1400 block of West Division early on August 2, the day after his 34th birthday, according to public records.

CPD surveillance video shows Madrid walking alone on Division Street and encountering a woman who was arguing with a few other people around 2:30 a.m., Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said.

Madrid intervened and then began exchanging words with the woman, whom Deboni identified as the wife of 30-year-old Tommie Brown.CPD video shows the woman hitting Madrid with her purse and knocking him to the ground, Deboni said.

A nearby resident began recording the incident on her phone from a nearby window, according to Deboni. That footage, which Chicago police sent to the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory for enhancement, shows Madrid pointing toward the woman and saying, “She f*cked up,” Deboni said.

The footage also allegedly shows Brown’s wife making a phone call in which she said, “Tommie, this n*gger stole on me, bro.” She described Madrid to the person on the phone and told Tommie to “come handle this b*tch,” Deboni alleged.

A few minutes later, Brown arrived at the scene in a car registered to his wife, got out, and ran after Madrid, according to Deboni. He then allegedly opened fire, striking Madrid six times in the back as he ran away. Police found eleven shell casings at the scene, all of which were fired by the same gun.

Brown was arrested at his home on the 1300 block of North Wolcott this week. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Judge Charles Beach, citing the strength of video evidence, ordered Brown held without bail.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com