#61: Felon shot and killed the mother of his children while he was on bail for possessing a stolen firearm, prosecutors say

Edward Roscoe | CPD

A Chicago man shot and killed the mother of his children while on bond for being a felon in possession of a weapon in April and then fled to Texas, prosecutors said Tuesday. The murder of Jessica Johnson, 30, came just a few months after Edward Roscoe, 29, allegedly dropped their 4-month-old son, killing him.

Roscoe is the 61st person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. A total of 93 victims are involved in those crimes — 25 of them were murdered.

Prosecutors said Johnson was driving an SUV with Roscoe in the passenger seat when the city’s ShotSpotter gunfire detection system alerted to shots fired on the 500 block of East 103rd Street around 10:20 p.m. on April 25. Roscoe is clearly identifiable in footage from another nearby camera, according to the allegations.

Officers responded to the gunfire alert and found Johnson in the driver’s seat with multiple gunshot wounds and five shell casings in the vehicle. Surveillance video from a nearby camera allegedly shows a man getting out of the SUV’s front passenger seat and running from the scene before police arrived.

About an hour later, Roscoe returned to the home he and Johnson shared with another couple in Gary, Indiana, and told them he shot and killed her after an argument, according to a proffer of the state’s allegations that was provided to CWBChicago by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The couple became so nervous about Roscoe’s demeanor, they packed up their children and left immediately, prosecutors said. They called 911 after seeing a news report about a woman shot nearby in a car like Johnson’s.

Investigators recovered a baseball hat from a dumpster near the murder scene after they saw Roscoe throw it into the garbage after the murder on video footage, prosecutors said. Roscoe posted a photo on Facebook the same day that shows him wearing an identical hat, which is black, and says “No F*cks Given,” according to the allegations.

According to court records, a judge signed an arrest warrant for Roscoe in the murder case on April 30. He was arrested on that warrant in Houston, and authorities brought him back to Chicago on Sunday.

Roscoe is a convicted felon whose history includes receiving a one-year sentence for reckless discharge of a firearm in 2015.

Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered Roscoe held without bail on the murder charge.

On October 6, 2020, Chicago police allegedly found a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat of his car when they pulled him over for a traffic violation. The gun was reported stolen in Indiana ten days earlier, prosecutors said at the time. They charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Judge Arthur Willis set bail at $20,000. Hours after the bond hearing, Roscoe posted 10% of that amount to go home, court records show. He subsequently stopped appearing for court dates, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in the gun case on August 23.

He is due back in court on January 10. Indiana officials are still investigating the death of the 4-month-old baby.

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.