Twice-convicted robber is charged with committing 2 more robberies this week — then he asks the judge why his bail is high

Markus Turner | CPD

A Rogers Park man who received probation for his first robbery case, then received “boot camp” for his second robbery in 2018, was charged Tuesday with his third and fourth robberies.

In 2016, Markus Turner pleaded guilty in a case that accused him of choking, punching, and robbing a man in the 7700 block of North Paulina on August 18, 2015. A judge sentenced him to two years probation in a plea deal.

Then, in October 2017, Turner was charged with beating and robbing a man of a computer bag and schoolwork as he walked near the 7200 block of North Greenview. Judge Earl Hoffenberg eventually sentenced him to three years with a recommendation that Turner be sent to a diversionary “boot camp” program instead of prison.

Turner, 25, completed parole in that case in February.

The boot camp program didn’t work, apparently.

Shortly before 5 a.m. Monday, Turner and three other men beat and kicked and robbed a 40-year-old man at gunpoint on the 7300 block of North Greenview, according to police and prosecutors. That’s just a block away from where Turner allegedly robbed the victim in 2017.

The group took the victim’s backpack, wallet, phone, watch, and keys, then ran away, Assistant State’s Attorney Gail Bembnister said.

About 40 minutes later, another man was walking to his car on the 1500 block of West Fargo when four or five men began beating and kicking him while one pointed a gun in his direction.

The victim struggled with the gunman and managed to eject its ammunition magazine Bembnister said. The group ran away empty-handed, and the victim called the police with some descriptions of the offenders.

One of those descriptions was of a Black male who was wearing a white coat.

As police were talking with the second victim, an officer spotted Turner wearing a blood-stained white coat about a quarter-block from the robbery scene, Bembnister said. They detained him and the second victim allegedly confirmed that he was one of the robbers.

Turner crossed paths with the first robbery victim at the police station, and that victim identified him as one of the robbers, too, Bembnister continued. She said Turner just happened to have the first victim’s wallet, phone, watch, and keys in his possession when police arrested him.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Turner is the father of two.

Judge Charles Beach set bail for Turner at $300,000 and ordered Turner to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post the mandatory 10% deposit to get out of jail.

“Why is it so much?” Turner asked Beach.

The judge, who moments earlier strongly suggested he would have held Turner without bail if prosecutors asked him to, pointed to Turner’s background and the violent nature of the newly-alleged crimes.

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