When Manya Chappel drove a gunman around the Austin neighborhood for 15 minutes, looking for someone to kill in a gang revenge shooting, he was already on bail for allegedly being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors said this week.
Now, he’s charged with first-degree murder of Demarco Strawder, the 24-year-old man that his passenger allegedly gunned down that day.
Chappel, 24, is the 19th 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 40 victims, nine of whom died.
Around noon on January 15, a man with tattoos on his face pulled his car to a stop on the West Side. He and his passenger, who was armed with a gun, asked a passerby where they could buy “blows,” street slang for heroin. The passerby didn’t want to get involved.
For 15 minutes, an array of surveillance cameras recorded those two men circling the area looking for someone to shoot to avenge the murder of a friend, prosecutors said.
They picked Strawder.
The passenger, who has yet to be charged, shot Strawder three times as he walked down the 1600 block of North Mayfield. Police found Strawder after responding to a ShotSpotter alert and 911 calls. Investigators found 11 shell casings on the street, prosecutors said.
Detectives rounded up video footage from across the area and from nearby businesses that showed Chappel and the shooter in and out of the car before, during, and after the shooting, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Chappel’s phone pinged in concert with the gunman’s phone as they traveled together, according to Murphy. Their phones allegedly registered less than 300 feet from the murder scene when Strawder was killed.
Chappel was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in 2016 and felony resisting in 2018. In May 2020, Judge David Navarro allowed him to go home by on a $500 bail deposit after prosecutors charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was still on bail when Strawder was killed, Murphy said.
Prosecutors this week charged Chappel with first-degree murder.
His defense attorney argued the passenger was the one who supposedly shot Strawder, not Chappel.
But Judge Mary Marubio pointed to the “stalking of the victim” by circling the area for 15 minutes as a key factor in the case. The extensive surveillance footage and phone GPS evidence also weighed heavily, she said.
She then granted the state’s motion to hold Chappel without bail on the murder charge. Marubio also ordered Chappel held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the pending gun case.
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.
Related 2022 Stories
#1: Man who tried to shoot 3 outside a North Side restaurant on New Year’s Day had a pending felony case, prosecutors say (January 6, 2022)
#2: Felon awaiting trial for 4 sexual assault cases escaped from electronic monitoring and tried to kill investigators who tracked him down, prosecutors say (January 15, 2022)
#3: With felony gun case pending, man shot passerby during “exchange of gunfire,” prosecutors say (January 23, 2022)
#4: Seven-time felon on electronic monitoring for his 4th gun case tried to shoot and kill his girlfriend’s father, prosecutors say (January 26, 2022)
#5: Teen on electronic monitoring for TWO gun cases carjacked a Lyft driver, then shot a 15-year-old at point-blank range, prosecutors say (February 10, 2022)
#6: Man killed nursing student months after going AWOL from felony DUI case, prosecutors say (February 20, 2022)
#7: Man shot and killed his own brother while on bail for a felony gun case, prosecutors say (February 22, 2022)
#8: Beloved Hyde Park bartender was killed by a robber who has 3 pending felony cases, prosecutors said (March 7, 2022)
#9: Man involved in New Year’s shoot-out that left one dead was on bail for his 3rd gun felony, prosecutors say (March 8, 2022)
#10: An 11-time convicted felon shot a 3-year-old and tried to kill the boy’s mother while on felony bail, prosecutors say (March 11, 2022)
#11: Man allegedly stabbed another to death 4 days after getting released on felony bail (March 29, 2022)
#12: He opened fire on his ex’s house, killing a man, prosecutors say. But he was supposed to be home 24/7 for a pending felony gun case. (March 29, 2022)
#13: Man shot a woman, fired toward 4 others, while on bond for being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors say (April 7, 2022)
#14: Man killed his parents in an Uptown senior center while on bond for federal armed robbery and gun charges, prosecutors say (April 14. 2022)
#15: Four-time felon opened fire on a carload of victims, injuring 2 while on bond for felony gun case, prosecutors say (April 20, 2022)
#16: Man shot his ex this month and her boyfriend last month, prosecutors say. He was on felony bail. (April 24, 2022)
#17: Man tried to kill 2 cable TV installers over a missing dog, prosecutors say. He was on bail at the time. (April 30, 2022)
#18: Man escaped from electronic monitoring and ran over a cop in a stolen car while fleeing a murder scene, prosecutors say (May 19, 2022)