Man on electronic monitoring for murder case had a gun on a West Side street, prosecutors say

Prosecutors say a man who is awaiting trial for first-degree murder and home invasion was found on a West Side street with a gun in his waistband Wednesday — three weeks after prosecutors asked a judge to revoke his bond for failing to comply with electronic monitoring requirements.

Christian Armstrong | CPD

Christian Armstrong, 18, allegedly put a gun in the face of his pot dealer, Roberto Avila-Juarez, during a robbery attempt on October 27, 2020. Avila-Juarez managed to get away unharmed.

The next day, Armstrong walked into Avila-Juarez’s home and shot him one time in the face from less than five feet away, using a gun that Armstrong’s father had reported stolen from their home, prosecutors alleged. Avila-Juarez died and Armstrong turned himself in.

On November 2, 2020, Judge Jill Cerone-Marisie set bail at $100,000 with electronic monitoring (EM), meaning Armstrong could go on house arrest by posting a bond deposit of $10,000. He was home within days, according to court records. Cerone-Marisie put Armstrong on an EM program that is operated by the circuit court rather than the more widely-known sheriff’s program, the records show.

On May 26, prosecutors filed a violation of bail bond petition with Armstrong’s trial judge, Samuel Betar III. But Betar tabled the matter until a future date.

According to the state’s petition, EM data showed Armstrong violated the terms of his bond by being out of his home from midnight to 2 a.m. on May 15 and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the same day. The next day, Armstrong was allegedly out of his home for two hours in the afternoon and nearly three hours in the evening.

GPS trackers placed him on the block behind his home during those absences. A court officer said Armstrong told him he had been in the back of his apartment building during those times. The officer told him he was not allowed to be in the back of the house, the report said.

Around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Chicago cops saw Armstrong standing in front of his apartment building with a group of people, prosecutors said. The officers saw an “L-shaped bulge” and an outline in the shape of a handgun in his front waistband, according to a CPD report.

They stopped to talk with Armstrong and asked if he had any weapons.

“Just kill me,” Armstrong allegedly replied.

Cops pulled a loaded handgun from his waistband and took him into custody, noting that he was wearing a Cook County EM bracelet on his ankle.

On Thursday, prosecutors charged Armstrong with felony unlawful use of a weapon.

Judge Barbara Dawkins set his bail at $3 million cash on the gun charge, meaning Armstong must post the full bail amount to get out of jail on the weapons case. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in his murder and home invasion case.

Coincidentally, Thursday was also the day prosecutors’ May 26 violation of bail bond petition was supposed to be considered in Judge Betar’s suburban courtroom. Armstrong didn’t make it. He was at 26th and California, getting charged with the gun case.

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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