Surprise! Man convicted of murder in 2007 is on electronic monitoring in Chicago — waiting to be sentenced

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office recently told Crain’s reporter Greg Hinz that it could not identify the people on electronic monitoring for murder or attempted murder in the city — or the judges who put them on EM — because the mayor’s office didn’t have access to court files.

So, CWBChicago reviewed the court files. Here’s part seven of our report about who the defendants are, what prosecutors accused them of doing, and which judges ordered them to go onto electronic monitoring if they posted bail.

We decided to look only at cases involving crimes alleged to have occurred in the city by defendants who were placed on electronic monitoring within the past year, regardless of when the crime occurred. That’s 35 cases. We use the defendants’ initials for domestic incidents to protect the victims’ identities.

It is not clear why Lightfoot has decided to focus on these individuals rather than people accused of similar charges who have are on bond without electronic monitoring.

Garry Willis, 32, First-Degree Murder (Convicted)
Garry Willis was 16-years-old when he allegedly shot and killed Stanley James near 70th and St. Lawrence on December 10, 2005. Judge Thomas Hennelly ordered him held without bail three days later and a jury eventually convicted him.

On September 25, 2007, Judge Rosemary Higgins-Grant sentenced Willis to 25 years in prison for first-degree murder and another 25 years for personally discharging the firearm that killed James, according to court records. The appeals began almost immediately.

While his court fight continued, Willis was convicted in 2013 of aggravated battery to a corrections worker. He received and served a four-year sentence.

Then, last June, Judge William Hooks vacated the 50-year sentence Willis received in 2007, according to a motion to set bail that Willis’ attorney filed in October. Against the state’s objections, Hooks ruled on November 2 that Willis could get out of jail on electronic monitoring with GPS by posting 10% of a $200,000 bail. Willis’ aunt paid it the same day, according to court records.

Schanise Barfield, 29, First-Degree Murder
Along with Nathaniel Jefferson and three other men, Schanise Barfield was charged with the murder of Ricardo Ruvalcaba during a December 2014 home invasion near Midway Airport.

Ruvalcaba was asleep when the home invasion began. He woke up when someone opened his bedroom door. Ruvalcaba got out of bed and chased after Jefferson, but another member of the crew shot Ruvalcaba in the chest and stomach, killing him, prosecutors alleged. Barfield is not accused of pulling the trigger.

Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered her held in lieu of $1 million bail on Christmas Eve 2014. Judge Lawrence Flood reduced that to $250,000 with electronic monitoring in December 2020 and she went home after a 10% deposit was posted early last year.

Joshua Houston, 26, Attempted First-Degree Murder
Joshua Houston and Deshawn Sharp were accused of plotting to rip off two undercover Chicago cops during a drug buy in 2018, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Sharp allegedly shot at the officers, who returned fire, while Houston served as the getaway driver, the paper reported. No injuries were reported in the shootout.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Houston held without bail on January 27, 2018, but Judge Erica Reddick reduced his bail to $150,000 with electronic monitoring three months later. His father posted a 10% deposit bond the next day, according to court records.

Last week, Houston pleaded guilty to one count of attempted armed robbery with a firearm in exchange for an eight-year sentence from Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil. Prosecutors dropped 21 other charges, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder, records show.

Houston received the state’s standard 50% sentence reduction for good behavior. Then, he received credit for the 1,446 days spent in custody — mostly on electronic monitoring. When it was all said and done, Houston walked into Stateville Correctional Center last Wednesday and he went home the same day, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

His accomplice, Sharp, pleaded guilty last year to attempted armed robbery with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon with a previous conviction. He received two concurrent 10-year sentences. He’ll be paroled on January 6, 2023.

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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