Man gets 18 years for accidentally shooting youth activist to death in West Rogers Park

Genove Martin and Caleb Reed | CPD; GunMemorial.org

A 20-year-old Chicago man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for accidentally shooting his friend, youth activist Caleb Reed, to death while firing at a car in West Rogers Park two years ago.

Jurors found Genove Martin guilty of two counts of second-degree murder on September 9. Judge Angela Munari-Petrone handed down Martin’s sentence on Thursday.

Martin, Reed, and two friends were walking in the 1900 block of West Granville when a Chevy Malibu rolled past them around 1 p.m. on July 31, 2020. Video showed the group looking at the Malibu as Martin pulled out a gun and started shooting at it, prosecutors alleged.

The friends all started running, but Martin fired one last shot over his shoulder. It struck Reed in the forehead. He died two days later at the age of 17.

People in the Malibu fired back at the group after Reed was shot, prosecutors said, but no one was injured by those rounds.

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Reed was a leader of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, a group that worked to end the use of Chicago police officers as school security guards. He was also involved in the anti-violence organization Good Kids Mad City.

Martin had no criminal background at the time of the shooting. During his initial bail hearing, a public defender said Martin had himself been shot about eight months earlier.

Judge John Lyke set bail at $300,000 on September 1, 2020, and The Chicago Community Bond Fund posted Martin’s $30,000 deposit to get him out of jail on October 20, 2020, according to bail records.

Prosecutors, who weren’t expecting Martin to get out, filed a motion to hold Martin without bail on December 11, 2020. But Munari-Petrone denied their request. Instead, according to court records, she put Martin on electronic monitoring with explicit instructions to be in the house 24 hours a day.

He will receive credit for the 774 days he spent in jail and on house arrest. Prosecutors dropped several counts of first-degree murder before the trial commenced.

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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