Chicago — On the northwest corner of Chicago and Ridgeway avenues in Humboldt Park sits a vacant lot. A Chicago Police Department surveillance camera hangs from a light pole next to a small hand-painted billboard that declares the corner a “safety zone” with no gambling, drugs, or guns allowed.
In that vacant lot around 5:40 p.m. on November 9, Jacquail Jones used a brick or rock to beat 52-year-old Michael Foley to death because Foley gave him fake money in a drug deal, prosecutors said Friday.
Jones, who was on bail for allegedly possessing a stolen motor vehicle, is the 51st person accused of killing or shooting—or trying to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago while awaiting trial for a felony this year. The alleged crimes involved at least 89 victims, 23 of whom died.
Foley died the next day from blunt force trauma to the head. His injuries were so severe that Chicago police mistakenly thought he had been shot rather than beaten. In fact, in a press release announcing Jones’ arrest this week, CPD still said Jones shot Foley.
But prosecutors on Friday said that’s not the case.
Surveillance video allegedly showed Jones following Foley as he left a nearby convenience store. As the men reached the vacant lot, Jones hit Foley on the back of the head from behind, causing him to fall, prosecutors said. Video allegedly showed Jones stomping on Foley’s head and then repeatedly striking Foley in the head with an object that he found in the lot.
After the beating, Jones returned to the convenience store, bought a bag of chips, and walked away, prosecutors said.
Police identified Jones through the surveillance footage and arrested him on Tuesday. During an interview with detectives, Jones admitted to hitting Foley with a brick or rock because Foley gave him fake money during a drug transaction, prosecutors said.
Jones was on bail at the time of the attack for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. On April 6, Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him to pay a $500 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring in that case.
Another judge removed the electronic monitoring requirement, and Jones was arrested again on May 28 for allegedly selling heroin on Chicago Avenue, about a block from where Foley was killed. He was charged with felony possession of heroin and was held without bail for violating his bond in the stolen motor vehicle case, but prosecutors subsequently dropped the drug case, and Jones was released.
According to prosecutors, he has two felony narcotics convictions as an adult. Prosecutors said Friday that he was arrested for aggravated battery and robbery as a juvenile in 2014, but no further information about the outcomes of those cases was available.
His public defender said he earned his GED and works at Popeye’s.
After hearing about the murder allegations, Judge Barbara Dawkins held Jones without bail at the state’s request. She also held him without bail on an arrest warrant that another judge issued when Jones stopped showing up in court for his stolen motor vehicle case.
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.
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org