A Berwyn man is accused of killing his mother and father in an Uptown senior center apartment over the weekend while awaiting trial on federal allegations that he robbed a series of phone stores at gunpoint. The murders occurred less than three months after the father signed paperwork to get his 33-year-old son out of federal custody, court records show.
Ocie Banks, Jr. is the 14th person charged with killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The alleged crimes involve at least 28 victims, eight of whom died.
Ocie Banks, Sr., Sheila Banks, and their son lived together until Sheila kicked the son out of their home because of ongoing abuse of the father, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. The father, age 79, then moved out of the home to share an apartment with their son in Berwyn.
On Friday evening, the younger Banks drove his father to Sheila’s apartment in the Wilson Yard senior housing complex, 1032 West Montrose, for a card party, Murphy said. Surveillance video from the complex showed that two of Sheila’s neighbors were already in her apartment when the father and son walked in, Murphy said.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, Sheila, 61, walked her friends to an elevator, then returned to her apartment, according to the video.
The footage, which Murphy said was “constant,” next showed the son exiting his mother’s apartment around 6:01 a.m. He appeared to lock the door and then leave the complex.
No one else entered the fourth-floor apartment until the Bankses were found dead the next evening, according to Murphy. Chicago police discovered the couple after Ocie Banks Jr. asked them to do a well-being check because they could not contact the couple, said Murphy. The son and other family members were present when police arrived at Wilson Yard.
Officers found Ocie Banks, Sr. lying face down in the bed with gunshot wounds to his forehead and back. Sheila Banks was lying next to him in bed with a gunshot wound to her temple. Murphy said police found no firearms or shell casings in the apartment and there were no signs of robbery.
Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Banks held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder.
In January, a federal grand jury indicted Ocie Banks, Jr. for a series of armed robberies of suburban cellular stores. He is charged with three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, and four counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence in that case, federal prosecutors said in a press release announcing the charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Fuentes allowed Banks to go home on a $10,000 appearance bond after his father agreed to serve as the third-party custodian on January 20, court records show. Authorities released the younger Banks from custody even though his father was not present at the court hearing, according to the documents.
US District Judge Martha Pacold on Wednesday revoked Banks’ bail and issued a warrant for his arrest due to pretrial violations, records show.
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been accused of murder, attempted murder, or shooting firearms toward people 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 less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.