#2: Felon awaiting trial for 4 sexual assault cases escaped from electronic monitoring and tried to kill investigators who tracked him down, prosecutors say

Valentino Wilbourn | CPD

A man awaiting trial for multiple charges of sexually assaulting victims under the age of 18 left the home where he was supposed to stay on electronic monitoring and shot at sheriff’s office investigators who tried to take him into custody this week, prosecutors said Saturday.

Valentino Wilbourn is the second person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.

Prosecutors said Wilbourn lived with his girlfriend and her father in the father’s home and Wilbourn was supposed to remain in that house around the clock on electronic monitoring.

But on Wednesday evening, the man’s daughter called and told him to get out of the house because Wilbourn had a 30-round ammunition magazine and he would shoot police if they showed up, prosecutors said.

The father took his dog, left home, and called the sheriff’s office to tell them to get Wilbourn out of his house because he was revoking consent for Wilbourn to stay there. While the father spoke with Chicago police officers in front of his home, Wilbourn left through the back door, prosecutors said.

Sheriff’s investigators followed a GPS signal from his ankle monitor to locate Wilbourn as he drove in the South Shore neighborhood around 6:45 p.m. The investigators activated the lights on their two marked squad cars and trapped Wilbourn’s vehicle in a dead-end alley, prosecutors said.

Wilbourn put his car in neutral, told his girlfriend, who was sitting next to him, that he loved her, and said she should duck.

Then, prosecutors said, he got out and started running while firing at the sheriff’s investigators. Four rounds struck one of the squad cars, but none of the officers was injured. The investigators returned fire, striking Wilbourn, who continued to shoot at them after falling on the ground, according to the allegations.

Prosecutors said a private surveillance camera recorded the incident. Investigators recovered a 9-millimeter handgun with an extended magazine at the scene.

Wilbourn, who remained hospitalized Saturday, is charged with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and armed habitual criminal. Judge Maryam Ahmad set bail at $3 million. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the bond terms in four pending felony sex cases.

Court records show Wilbourn was charged with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse in January 2019. Several of the allegations involve victims under the age of 18, while others include allegations of sexual assault while threatening the victim’s life, according to court records.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail, but Judge Carol Howard later allowed him to get out of jail on electronic monitoring by posting $30,000 of a $300,000 bail, records show.

Chicago police allegedly found a gun in Wilbourn’s vehicle when they arrested him on those charges, and a grand jury returned a true bill for Class X armed habitual criminal and four counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the gun charges were dropped in October.

Many documents are missing from the cases’ court files, including records that would explain why the gun charges were dropped and who posted Wilbourn’s bail. (January 18 editor’s note: A handwritten comment by Judge Carol Howard on a court document states that she ruled the police search of Wilbourn’s vehicle was illegal. The armed habitual criminal charges were apparently dropped as a result of that ruling. However, the defense motion explaining why the search should be considered illegal and the state’s response to the defense motion are not in court records.)

Prosecutors cannot charge Wilbourn with escaping from electronic monitoring because Illinois legislators passed a law last year that decriminalized absences of less than 48 hours.

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