#48: Five-time felon killed his own cousin while on electronic monitoring for pending narcotics case, prosecutors say

Frederick Smith | CPD

Authorities say a five-time convicted felon killed his own cousin on Monday evening and then fled from the home where he was supposed to stay on electronic monitoring for a pending felony case. They charged him with murder, but a prosecutor said that the state can’t charge him with escape because Illinois’ new criminal justice reform law decriminalized electronic monitoring violations of less than 48 hours.

Frederick Smith, 37, is — coincidentally — the 48th person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.

Smith’s cousin, Anthony Douglas, 35, and a woman who knew both men went to Smith’s home in the 4600 block of South Emerald to pick up some of the cousin’s personal belongings on Monday evening, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

But Douglas believed Smith didn’t give him all of the property he was expecting, and he began knocking on Smith’s door and calling him to try to get the rest of his stuff, according to Murphy.

When Smith didn’t answer after several minutes, Douglas went around to the back of Smith’s home.

Murphy said that the surveillance video showed Smith shooting his cousin and then standing over him and shooting him in the head while he was on the ground. Smith took “belongings” off of Douglas after the shooting, according to Murphy, but the veteran prosecutor did not specify what was taken.

“Get out of here, or I’ll kill you, too,” Smith allegedly told the woman while pointing the gun at her.

Police officers who responded to a ShotSpotter gunfire alert found Douglas lying on a sidewalk with nine gunshot wounds: two in the head, one in the neck, two in the chest, two in the right shoulder, and two in the right hand, according to Murphy.

A neighbor’s surveillance camera recorded footage of Smith leaving his home after the shooting and escaping in a vehicle driven by another person, Murphy said. Police tracked him down and took him into custody.

Smith is charged with first-degree murder. He posted a $6,000 cash bond to get out of jail on electronic monitoring after he was charged with having nearly $6,000 worth of heroin, a scale, and $3,482 cash in his car during a traffic stop in November.

“We’re not charging the defendant with escape [from electronic monitoring] due to the change in the law in July,” Murphy told Judge Barbara Dawkins. “Even though there is video and [police surveillance] videos that show the defendant fleeing in an Alfa Romeo. That was less than 48 hours.”

Smith was charged with murder in 2003, but he was convicted of a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter and received a 12-year sentence. Since then, he was convicted of delivery of cocaine in 2009, aggravated unlawful restraint while armed in 2010, delivery of heroin in 2016, and fleeing and eluding in 2017, Murphy said.

Private defense attorney Matthew Kaplan said Smith had nothing to do with his cousin’s murder and said the only reason Smith left his house was to try to find the real killer.

Smith has three children, owns a clothing line, and was offered a recording contract with Atlantic Records last month, Kaplan said.

Judge Dawkins ordered Smith held without bail on the murder charge and held without bail for violating the bond terms in his pending drug case.

Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.

The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data.  You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.

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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