He had 2 stolen guns in his house while on electronic monitoring for 160 counts of murder, prosecutors say

A suburban man who was on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial on 160 counts of murder and other charges for allegedly killing, robbing, and trying to carjack a disabled victim, had two stolen guns in his house when sheriff’s officers searched his home following reports of a domestic altercation, prosecutors said. For now, those guns have only resulted in misdemeanor charges.

Torrey Lewis, 28, is awaiting trial on allegations that he and another man robbed and fatally shot a man outside a suburban movie theater while the victim’s girlfriend watched in July 2017. Prosecutors said the killers stole the victim’s Rolex watch and then tried to drive away with his car, but they couldn’t operate the vehicle because it was equipped for use by disabled drivers, the Tribune reported in 2018.

Torrey Lewis (inset) and a screen shot from the sheriff’s office electronic monitoring orientation video. | CCSO

Judge David Navarro initially held Lewis without bail on one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery, according to court records. A few weeks later, a grand jury returned a true bill that charged Lewis with 160 counts of murder, nine counts of armed robbery, and 16 counts of attempted vehicular hijacking in the case.

Another judge subsequently reduced Navarro’s no-bail hold to $300,000 and allowed Lewis to go home on electronic monitoring in May 2020 by posting 10% of the bail amount. Court records that would identify the judge who lowered Lewis’ bail were not immediately available.

On Monday, prosecutors charged Lewis with two misdemeanor gun violations after sheriff’s officers allegedly found a stolen rifle and a stolen handgun in his home.

Authorities went to his house after Oak Forest police notified the sheriff that Lewis “was involved in a domestic incident which also involved a firearm,” Assistant State’s Attorney Zebulon Black said.

Sheriff’s officers searched Lewis’ home and located a rifle and handgun, both of which were stolen, according to Black.

Judge Barbara Dawkins, who was a Cook County prosecutor for nearly 20 years before becoming an associate judge in September, said the search “is part of the agreement that this defendant underwent when he went on EM.”

But she seemed puzzled by the decision to only file misdemeanor gun charges in the case.

“It looks like there are any number of charges that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office could have charged this defendant with, the domestic, the stolen handgun, the stolen guns,” Dawkins said. “There are any number of charges that could have been placed against this defendant. They chose to charge him with misdemeanor offenses, so here we are in misdemeanor bond court as opposed to felony bond court.”

A spokesperson for the state’s attorney said the sheriff’s office filed the misdemeanor gun charges without asking prosecutors to approve felony counts.

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said, “felony charges for possession of the firearms are pending further investigation.” The sheriff’s office noted that Lewis will be held without bail, at least temporarily, for allegedly violating electronic monitoring program rules.

Dawkins also noticed something in Lewis’ arrest report that prosecutors did not tell her: Lewis was supposed to be living with his mother under the EM agreement, but “the defendant’s
mother rented the address on behalf of the defendant, has signed the lease on behalf of the defendant so that the defendant could live as an adult on his own at that … address where the weapons, stolen weapons, were recovered and that are the subject of the prosecution by the state.”

The judge set Lewis’ bail at $100,000 on the misdemeanor gun charges. He must post 10% of that to get out of jail. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the bond in the murder case.

“The $100,000-D is in consideration that this is being charged as a misdemeanor,” Dawkins told Lewis. “Were it charged as a felony, that bond would be different. Good luck to you, sir.”

Assistant Public Defender Michael Grady said the guns belong to someone else who lives in the house and Lewis “adamantly denies all allegations against him here.” Grady said Lewis has two children, ages eight and three.

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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