Federal prosecutors said Friday that a man awaiting trial for a 2020 murder in Chicago also carjacked two vehicles in the suburbs days before the killing. At the time of the alleged crimes, Maverick Cela was free on a recognizance bond for a pending felony stolen motor vehicle case.
We first told you about Cela in April 2021, after Cook County prosecutors charged him with killing Adam Lique, 20, in a drive-by shooting in the 3600 block of West Lawrence Avenue on the evening of September 16, 2020.
Cela and Edson Resendez, both 21, were charged today with one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking and two counts of carjacking in connection with hijackings that occurred days before Lique’s murder.
Cela and Resendez took a Chevrolet Sonic from a victim in Morton Grove on September 11, 2020, and Cela later dumped the car and set it on fire in the 6200 block of North Lincon Avenue in Chicago, federal prosecutors said.
Two days later, the men are said to have hijacked a Lexus GS350 in Skokie before abandoning it in the 4800 block of South Hermitage Avenue in Chicago.
Three days after that, Lique was murdered. Resendez is not accused of participating in the killing. The murder case against Cela is still pending in state court.
Cela was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for two robberies in 2017, and he was charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle in August 2019. In that case, court records show that Judge David Navarro released him on his own recognizance.
Lique was killed just over a year later, and, about a month after the murder, Cela was charged with two gun counts and criminal trespass to a vehicle in a separate Chicago case. In that case, police allegedly found Cela driving a stolen car near his home.
State prosecutors said in October 2020 that investigators looking at him in a bigger stolen vehicle case searched his home and found a shotgun, shotgun shells, and a loaded handgun in his bedroom.