Prosecutors in the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx refused file charges in connection with a shooting last month near a River North nightclub, according to a source.
“The state’s attorney bought his self-defense claim,” said the source, who was briefed on the investigation. “He has 33 prior arrests.”
The shooting occurred on the 100 block of West Hubbard around 10 p.m. on April 23. Video cameras captured the incident.
Police said the 33-year-old victim saw a man who was involved in an earlier incident and he went over to confront him. The second man then “retrieved a handgun” and shot the victim five times, police said.
There were no indications that the victim was armed or that the shooter was injured before he began firing.
“Detectives did good work and arrested the guy, but he was released without charges,” the source said. “CPD is pissed about this one.”
The state’s attorney’s office didn’t respond to an email inquiry about the case.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Ward supervises the office’s felony review unit, which is responsible for approving and rejecting charges that police bring in for prosecution.
During a Zoom conference sponsored by East Lake View Neighbors last Tuesday evening, she answered a participant’s question about how often prosecutors asked judges to hold defendants without bail last year.
After a supervisor from another division said the number was about 350 times, Ward brought up the fact that prosecutors in the office’s bond court section asked for a no-bail hold just hours before the Zoom call.
What Ward did not tell the viewers is that her felony review unit refused to charge that defendant, Gregory Stamps, citing “self defense.”
A Chicago police detective commander took the unusual step of overriding felony review by signing off on the murder charge personally. The state’s attorney’s bond court supervisor then took an even more extraordinary step: he proceeded with the prosecution.
James Murphy, the bond court section’s supervisor, presented a detailed and impassioned argument against Stamps’ claims of self-defense.
“The medical examiner said there were 20 to 30 skull defects,” Murphy told Judge Kelly McCarthy. “That’s 20 to 30 shots to the head that this defendant gave over and over and over again with that hammer. That is not self-defense. That is first-degree murder. And I would point out there are no injuries on this defendant. None.”
“He doesn’t call police. Doesn’t call 911. What he does is he tries to get rid of the body,” Murphy continued. “The first thing he says is ‘I fell down the stairs,’ not ‘he tried to rape me.’”
In another case that recently raised eyebrows, the felony review unit refused to approve felony charges against a two-time convicted felon who allegedly admitted to having a gun and firing it during a shootout on the Near North Side.
Note: After publication of this story, the state’s attorney’s office sent the following statement regarding the Hubbard Street shooting:
After a thorough review of the evidence presented to us, including statements from the victim and witness accounts, we concluded that the evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to approve felony charges. The Chicago Police Department agreed with our determination in this case. As prosecutors, we have both an ethical and legal obligation to make charging decisions based on the evidence, facts, and the law.