16 months after having murder sentence commuted, Chicago man is caught driving a stolen van, prosecutors say

Gerald Reed | CPD

Gerald Reed, whose life sentence for two Chicago murders was commuted by Gov. JB Pritzker last year, is facing new felony charges after Chicago police allegedly caught him in possession of a stolen van that belongs to the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Pritzker purportedly commuted Reed’s murder sentence in April 2021 because Reed was at high risk of getting COVID. Reed claimed that disgraced former Chicago police commander Jon Burge tortured him into confessing to the double murder in 1990. He had been in prison for over 30 years prior to Pritzker’s action. The Illinois Supreme Court vacated the murder convictions a month after the commutation.

On Monday, Chicago police responded to a domestic disturbance call and spoke with Reed’s roommate, who told officers that Reed had been driving a stolen vehicle, according to prosecutors. Officers inspected the blue GMC Savana work van and determined that it had been reported stolen from Kenosha on Saturday.

The van belongs to the city of Kenosha, according to prosecutors, and Reed had the keys in his front pocket. According to the allegations, police also discovered documents with Reed’s name, address, and date of birth inside the van’s center console.

Reed, 58, does not work for Kenosha and was not authorized to operate the van, according to prosecutors. He allegedly told police that he got the van from a friend.

During Reed’s bail hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said he has a burglary and resisting police case pending in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Reed lives in Chicago with friends while working as a general laborer for Loyola University.

Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered him to pay a $500 bail deposit to get out of jail.

Prosecutors considered trying Reed for the murders again, but a judge ruled that, even if Reed were convicted again, he could not be sent back to prison because Pritzker commuted his sentence.

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