Chicago man who was shot in January and again in February had a gun inside the house where he was on electronic monitoring, prosecutors say

Alex Hernandez in March 2022 | CPD

A Chicago man who was shot in January, shot again a few weeks later, and then charged with illegally possessing a handgun in a stolen car days after getting out of the hospital, is back in custody. Prosecutors say authorities found a gun near his bedroom after someone shot up the North Center home where he was staying on electronic monitoring last week.

Back on March 10, Alex Hernandez, 23, allegedly crashed a stolen Toyota Camry into another vehicle in the Irving Park neighborhood and then ran from the scene. Prosecutors said he tossed a handgun onto a garage roof and then hid in the yard next door. Citizens directed police to the gun and Hernandez.

Investigators determined that a spent shell casing they found inside the stolen car was ejected by the gun Hernandez threw onto the garage roof, prosecutors said.

During his March 12 bail hearing, a private defense attorney said Hernandez was shot during a drive-by on January 17 and spent a week in the hospital. “Several weeks later,” the attorney said, Hernandez was shot in the head and stomach.

He rode around incapacitated on a CTA or Metra train “for over three hours” after the shooting until a passenger realized he “was not doing OK,” the lawyer said.

Hernandez got out of the hospital on March 6, just four days before he is said to have crashed the stolen car and thrown the gun onto the garage roof.

His lawyer said he was enrolled in a GED program and had a daughter who was six months old.

Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered him to pay a $5,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring. Prosecutors said he paid the money that same day.

Then, on October 19, someone shot up a house in the 1900 block of West Cuyler where Hernandez was staying on electronic monitoring, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The homeowner was sitting in the living room when someone fired several rounds through the front window. Chicago police found 11 shell casings outside the home.

Prosecutors said Hernandez told police he was on house arrest for drug charges, but he refused to provide identification, which made the cops suspicious. They notified the sheriff’s office, and electronic monitoring agents conducted a home safety check.

The investigators allegedly found a 9-millimeter handgun in a filing cabinet outside the basement bedroom where Hernandez slept. The homeowner told police that neither she nor the other resident of the home owned firearms.

During a recorded jailhouse phone call, Hernandez allegedly told his mother about the gun.

“Well, yes, it’s mine,” he allegedly said, “but they didn’t find it by me or by my stuff.”

He is now charged with a new count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered him to pay a $25,000 deposit toward bail to be released from custody on the new charge. Separately, he is being held on $200,000 bail for violating bond in the March gun and stolen motor vehicle case. He must post 10% of that amount to get out of jail.

Lightning speed

A Chicago woman on electronic monitoring for a burglary case walked out of her home without permission just seven hours after leaving jail, prosecutors said Tuesday. When authorities tracked her down, they discovered her electronic monitoring strap had been cut.

Antonica Neal, 33, was charged on October 13 with helping five other people burglarize a food and liquor store during the summer. She went home on electronic monitoring at midnight on October 19 and arrived at the house less than 30 minutes later, prosecutors said.

But, at 7:01 a.m., she walked out of the house without permission, and her “host” withdrew consent for her to stay there, officials said.

Authorities found her at 10:17 a.m., with the ankle monitor still hanging on her leg by a metal strap. The rest of the band had been cut through, prosecutors said.

She is now charged with felony criminal damage to property for allegedly cutting the monitor strap. Prosecutors said she has five previous felony convictions — three for theft and two for aggravated battery.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered her to pay a $12,000 bail deposit to get out of jail on the criminal damage charge.

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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