A Chicago man shot and killed two men during a party last week while on bond for attempted murder and on probation for a felony narcotics case, prosecutors said Wednesday. Absalom Coakley was also allegedly carrying a handgun when police arrested him this week in River North.
He is the 44th person accused of killing or shooting—or attempting to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago while awaiting trial for a felony this year. The alleged crimes involved at least 82 victims, 21 of whom died.
Coakley was charged in 2016 with shooting a man during a robbery on the West Side, according to prosecutors and Chicago police records. Judge Joanne Rosado released him from custody in that case on a $15,000 bond, Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Nugarus said.
Coakley, 29, also remains on probation for a 2014 narcotics case. The probation was supposed to end after two years, but it was extended because he repeatedly violated its conditions, Nugarus said.
On the evening of September 24, Coakley joined about 50 people for a video shoot and house party in the 1300 block of South Harding in North Lawndale.
The night wore on, and at 3:45 a.m. the next day, a fight broke out among a group of men in the kitchen. During the fight, Coakley pulled out a gun and shot 29-year-old Terrance Johnson in the back of the head, killing him, Nugarus alleged.
Coakley walked out and had a short altercation with another man, Terrance Young, 30, on the sidewalk in front of the home, Nugarus continued. The argument ended when Coakley allegedly shot Young in the face, killing him.
Nugarus said the second shooting was captured on video. People who were at the party identified Coakley as the shooter.
A fugitive task force arrested Coakley in the 300 block of West Ohio as he entered a rideshare on Tuesday. Police said he was carrying a 40-caliber handgun, the same type of weapon used in the murders. Nugarus said ballistics tests are pending.
Coakley is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
His public defender said Coakley, the father of four, attends church twice a week and plays the piano there.
The lawyer argued against holding Coakley without bail, saying that what happened is unclear, raising the possibilities of mutual combat and an accident as the reasons for the shootings.
But Judge Susana Ortiz, citing the evidence presented, granted the state’s no-bail request. She also held him without bail for violating the terms of bail in the pending attempted murder case and without bail for violating the terms of his probation.
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has brought charges in less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data.
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