Man accused of firing a gun during a carjacking, then escaping from electronic monitoring, decides to argue with his bond court judge. Bad idea.

Deonte Mitchell | CPD

Deonte Mitchell has been treated very well by Cook County Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer since he was charged with firing a gun during an attempted carjacking on Chicago’s Northwest Side in November 2020. She reduced his bail so he could go home on electronic monitoring and even allowed him to attend the Fourth of July fireworks with his family while on “home confinement.”

But prosecutors say that wasn’t enough for Mitchell, who escaped from “EM” last month and wasn’t located again until Sunday.

When Chicago police located him, Mitchell allegedly told the cops, “I ain’t going. I’m a criminal. F*ck ya,” and then resisted arrest.

As a bonus, Mitchell decided to argue with a different judge who was setting his new bail conditions on Monday, telling Judge Charles Beach, “You’re saying the wrong things.”

It ended poorly for Mitchell, with Beach ordering him held without bail on two cases and requiring a $750,000 bail payment for a third.

A history

Mitchell’s criminal career began as a juvenile when, at the age of 16, he was convicted of armed robbery and given a 12-year sentence. Illinois legislators have since changed the state’s law so minors can no longer be tried as adults for armed robbery. 

While on parole for that, he was convicted of felony criminal damage to a Chicago police squad car, prosecutors said. He received a one-year sentence.

And while on parole for that, he picked up the case that put him on electronic monitoring: armed vehicular hijacking.

Shots fired

Prosecutors said Mitchell confronted two people in a Target store parking lot, 4649 West Foster, around 9 p.m. on November 17, 2020.

“Don’t make a scene, give me the keys,” Mitchell allegedly ordered while displaying a handgun tucked on his right hip. 

One of the alleged victims gave Mitchell a set of keys, but they didn’t start the car Mitchell wanted, so he took out his gun and fired a shot into the air, prosecutor Lorraine Scaduto said.

After getting the correct keys, Mitchell couldn’t figure out how to start the engine, Scaduto said, so he ran away. Cops allegedly found him hiding in some bushes next to the Edens Expressway.

A judge initially held Mitchell without bail, which another judge subsequently upheld after Mitchell’s attorney asked for it to be reduced. But things went a little better for Mitchell when, in February 2021, a lawyer asked Judge Sutker-Dermer to lower Mitchell’s bail to $50,000, citing concerns about COVID.

Sutker-Dermer agreed to lower bail to $275,000 with electronic monitoring. Mitchell went home in April 2021 after posting 10% of the bail amount.

Three months later (this may sound familiar), prosecutors charged Mitchell with felony criminal damage to property for allegedly damaging another Chicago police car, Scaduto said.

Once again, Sutker-Dermer allowed him to go home on electronic monitoring.

Prosecutors filed a violation of bail bond motion with Sutker-Dermer in January, alleging that Mitchell was violating EM conditions. She ordered him to pay another $500 and sent him home on electronic monitoring again.

This summer, Sutker-Dermer permitted Mitchell to attend a fireworks show with his family. Like all EM participants in Illinois, Mitchell earns a day of credit toward any future prison sentence for each day he spends on an ankle monitor—even if he spends the day watching fireworks.

Finally, on August 21, Mitchell received permission to leave his house for a job interview, Scaduto said. He allegedly returned to the group home where he was supposed to stay and told the staff that he was “leaving and not coming back.”

An escape

The sheriff’s office tracked Mitchell’s ankle monitor GPS until they lost its signal somewhere in Indiana, according to Scaduto.

On Sunday, Chicago police spotted Mitchell as he smoked a joint inside a minivan with the back door open, Scaduto said. Cops allegedly found a loaded handgun in a cross-body bag on the floor of the van near the seat Mitchell was in.

He is now charged with unlawful use of a weapon, resisting police, possession of cannabis, and escape from electronic monitoring. But he took exception to the idea that he escaped from EM.

“I never was on the run from house arrest,” Mitchell told Judge Beach on Monday. “I just didn’t have anywhere to go.”

The court hearing went downhill from there, as Mitchell repeatedly interrupted Beach.

“You wave your hands around like you’re in a nightclub,” Beach told Mitchell after one interruption.

“You’re saying the wrong thing,” Mitchell replied, setting Beach off on a recitation of the facts before him.

“I’m not saying the wrong thing. You have a warrant out for your arrest for escape,” Beach countered.

“Yeah, but they’re saying that I ran from EM. I ain’ run from EM. I still got bands on. I had the bands on the whole time. I was talkin’ to the sheriffs. I was talkin’ to my judge,” Mitchell claimed.

But Beach was having none of it.

He slapped Mitchell with a $750,000 cash bail for the escape charge, meaning Mitchell must post the full bail amount to get out of jail. But, Beach noted, Mitchell will earn a credit of $30 per day toward the amount for every day he spends in jail—a rate that would not amount to $750,000 for more than 68 years.

Beach acknowledged that Mitchell’s attorney made solid arguments regarding the new gun allegations, including that two other people were inside the van with Mitchell.

The judge also said that he personally read the police report and noted that officers said Mitchell told them, “I ain’t going. I’m a criminal. F*ck ya,” then resisted arrest.

Beach concluded the hearing by holding Mitchell without bail in the 2020 carjacking case and the new gun case. He said Mitchell had walked out of the courtroom before he was done.

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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