He allegedly killed a 17-year-old girl at Mcdonald’s last week — a month after prosecutors refused to charge him with a felony gun crime. (And he’s on parole for shooting a gun.)

When Anthony Heredia appeared in bond court on a first-degree murder charge Sunday, a Cook County prosecutor accused him of shooting and killing a 17-year-old girl in front of her family in a McDonald’s parking lot last week.

Anthony Heredia and the McDonald’s at 4334 West 26th Street. | CPD; Google

The prosecutor explained that Heredia, 19, is on parole for firing a gun in 2020. And he said Heredia had a pending misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon case that did not involve a firearm.

But, as CWBChicago has learned, the prosecutor was wrong.

Chicago police arrested Heredia last month and tried to charge him with a felony for possessing a Glock handgun, but prosecutors at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office refused to approve the felony case.

So, the cops did what they could. They filed a misdemeanor weapons charge, which does not require a prosecutor’s approval. Had prosecutors approved the felony gun charge, the state may have revoked Heredia’s parole. And a felony bond court judge might have set bail conditions such as electronic monitoring or a high bail amount to protect the public.

But prosecutors didn’t approve the felony. So, Heredia walked out of CPD’s 10th District station on his own recognizance and, according to Sunday’s allegations, he got another gun and killed a teenager at McDonald’s.

We contacted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to learn more about why prosecutors refused to approve felony charges against Heredia last month and why an assistant state’s attorney told a judge on Sunday that Heredia’s pending misdemeanor weapons case did not involve a firearm. The office did not reply.

A plea deal

On May 2, 2020, Heredia was arrested for allegedly firing a handgun at an occupied vehicle near a shopping mall in suburban Cicero, according to court records. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated discharge of a firearm, a Class 1 felony, one of the state’s more serious crime categories.

But they reached a plea deal with Heredia in January. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Class 4 felony reckless discharge and received a two-year sentence from Judge Ramon Ocasio.

According to state records, Heredia arrived at the Stateville Correctional Center on March 3. He received a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, a credit for 303 days spent in custody before sentencing, and then went home the same day.

A traffic stop

Barely three months after he got out of prison, Chicago police officers pulled over a minivan in the 4200 block of West 25th Street because the driver ran a red light. Heredia was the lone occupant of the third-row seat, and there was a Glock handgun in the cargo space directly behind him, according to a CPD arrest report. The report does not say if the weapon was loaded.

Heredia allegedly told officers that his friend had put the gun there earlier in the day. The cops noted in their arrest report that Heredia was carrying $2,905 in cash.

According to the arrest report, Chicago police asked the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to charge Heredia with a felony. A prosecutor in the office’s Felony Review Unit said no, the report states.

Heredia walked out of the police station, no money down, 11 hours after cops arrested him.

Killed at McDonald’s

At around 3 o’clock last Thursday afternoon, 17-year-old Tierra Franklin and her family went to the McDonald’s at 4334 West 26th Street to get some food. They became frustrated with service at the drive-thru, parked, and went inside.

Some of the restaurant employees recognized Franklin as someone who was involved in a previous incident, and they asked her to leave. The group returned to their car, but one member of the party was allowed to stay and wait for their food order, Assistant State’s Attorney Gino Betts said Sunday.

While they waited for the food, Heredia walked into the restaurant, Betts said. An employee told Heredia that everything was OK and he went back outside, Betts continued.

He said Heredia stood on the corner of the restaurant and kept an eye on the parking lot.

At some point, Franklin ran over to the drive-thru window and tossed a paper cup of water inside, splashing a restaurant worker. Franklin ran back to the family’s car as Heredia ran toward her, allegedly firing two shots. One round struck Franklin in the chest and killed her.

The entire incident was recorded by the restaurant’s surveillance system.

Heredia left the scene, then returned to pick up a shell casing, Betts said. Police allegedly identified him through the surveillance footage and arrested him at his home, which is not far from the McDonald’s.

Betts said Heredia admitted that a McDonald’s employee summoned him to the restaurant because they were concerned about Franklin’s presence, based on the previous incident. Heredia also admitted to firing two rounds at Franklin’s car after seeing her toss water at the drive-thru, Betts alleged.

He went on to detail Heredia’s criminal background, including the pending misdemeanor case that was “for unlawful use of a weapon, not a firearm,” even though it is for a firearm. The state is revoking Heredia’s parole, he said.

Prosecutors charged Heredia with first-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and possessing a controlled substance.

Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Heredia is a full-time student who lives with his foster parents.

After hearing from the attorneys, Judge Susana Ortiz reviewed everything she heard and specifically noted that Heredia’s pending misdemeanor case “did not involve a firearm.”

“I will note here that, once again, we have a 19-year-old who can apparently obtain firearms more readily than he can obtain a pack of cigarettes,” Ortiz said. “That’s something that we may want to think about. No bail.”

“Can I say something?” Heredia interjected. “I just want to apologize to the victim’s family.”

Our original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please contribute to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.

Editor’s note: Because prosecutors did not charge Heredia with a felony in June, he will not be included on our list of people who are accused of committing violent crimes such as murder while on felony bail. He does, however, get a “dishonorable mention.”

About CWBChicago 6550 Articles
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