A Chicago man shot and killed his girlfriend while on electronic monitoring, then ran out of the house so he could get to court on time for a hearing, prosecutors said Monday. The woman’s three-year-old daughter allegedly told police that she saw Rodearl McElroy kill her mother.
McElroy, 29, is the 48th 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 86 victims, 22 of whom died.
McElroy has a lengthy criminal history, including a federal conviction for unlawful transportation of firearms in 2016. While on parole for a manufacture-delivery case in March 2021, he allegedly sped away from Chicago police officers responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun inside a van.
As police approached the van he was sitting in, McElroy drove backward for over a block, sideswiped a Chicago police squad car, crashed into five other vehicles, and then ran away, prosecutors said. Cops did not find a gun, but they did find a significant amount of narcotics, ammunition, and over $1,700 in cash in his possession, according to prosecutors.
He went home on electronic monitoring after posting a $2,500 bail deposit in August 2021.
Early on May 5, a friend joined McElroy, and his girlfriend, Melody Joiner, in their Bronzeville home to celebrate the news that McElroy would be pleading guilty later that day to the pending weapons charge in exchange for a sentence that would not result in any prison time, prosecutors said Monday.
After drinking and playing video games for a while, Joiner and the friend fell asleep.
Around 9 a.m., the friend was awakened by McElroy screaming, “She’s shot! She’s been shot!” Joiner was found unresponsive on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to her chest. Blood streaks on the floor suggested she had been dragged there from her nearby bedroom, according to prosecutors. Joiner’s two youngest children were still in her bedroom when the police arrived.
The friend called 911 and watched as McElroy handed off a crate containing a small safe and a red ammunition magazine to two men in the home’s second-floor unit, prosecutors said. McElroy then left the area in a blue car with one of the men from the second floor.
He arrived at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for his scheduled hearing a short time later.
About an hour after the shooting, McElroy called the friend who partied with him and Joiner. He asked the friend to stay with the young children in the apartment and to take McElroy’s money out of Joiner’s pockets, prosecutors said. He also allegedly asked the friend not to talk about the shooting and to tell the police that a man dressed in black was on the back porch of the home.
McElroy was arrested at the courthouse around 10:35 a.m. while washing his hands in a restroom. Police intended to charge him with first-degree murder that day, but the charges were not approved until last week. Prosecutors instead charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, citing the large amount of ammunition found in the apartment as well as the crate and safe that McElroy allegedly handed over to the men.
Prosecutors said Joiner told a witness a few days before the shooting that McElroy had threatened to shoot her and her child. McElroy allegedly showed the witness his new gun one day before the murder.
Sean Brown, McElroy’s defense lawyer, said that McElroy was charged with having ammunition, not a gun, and that there were no other witnesses besides a 3-year-old.
However, Judge Susana Ortiz cited McElroy’s decision to flee the shooting scene as critical evidence against him.
“This flight and lack of action is very significant in this court’s opinion,” Ortiz said. She also pointed to allegations of recent threats to shoot Joiner and displaying a gun one day before the alleged crime.
She ordered McElroy held without bail.
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.