Chicago — A 16-year-old “Kia boy” murdered a man and tried to kill a second victim on the West Side in October while he had felony cases pending in juvenile court, prosecutors said Saturday. Officials provided no motive for the crime.
Deshaun Hightie is the 54th person accused of killing or shooting—or trying to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago last year while having a felony case pending. The alleged crimes involved at least 93 victims, 25 of whom died.
Around 7:49 a.m. on October 8, Hightie and an unidentified accomplice emerged from a stolen Hyundai Sonata and ran toward two men standing in the 300 block of South Springfield, according to authorities.
The gunmen opened fire, killing 22-year-old Edward Roberts but missing another 22-year-old man nearby, prosecutor Zachary Peasall said during Hightie’s bond hearing.
Roberts suffered 17 gunshot wounds throughout his body. Police recovered 25 shell casings at the scene.
However, surveillance footage allegedly shows Hightie’s phone falling out of his pocket during the shooting. According to Peasall, police recovered it from the crime scene and linked it to him.
In late November, Chicago police stopped a stolen Hyundai Tucson at a gas station in the 700 block of South Springfield. Video showed Hightie exiting the car’s driver’s seat and the second gunman from the shooting in the car’s back seat, Peasall alleged. Both were arrested.
According to Peasall, a 40-caliber handgun discovered in the back seat is the same weapon that discharged three casings at the murder scene, and Hightie was wearing the same jacket as the gunman. However, at the time, prosecutors did not charge Hightie or the suspected second gunman with the shooting.
Peasall said people who know Hightie identified him and the second gunman in surveillance images of the shooting.
On Friday, he was arrested at the juvenile justice center after appearing in court to plead guilty to a stolen motor vehicle charge. He faces first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges.
He was adjudicated delinquent for narcotics-related charges twice last year. According to Peasall, his juvenile record also includes a battery case in 2021 and a gun charge in 2020.
Hightie’s lawyer said that the police said Hightie was wearing the same clothes as the shooter, even though the clothes in question, like a black Adidas track jacket, are very common. She said that the prosecutors didn’t show any DNA or other proof that linked Hightie to the recovered handgun, nor did they show proof that he fired any bullets that hit Roberts.
Hightie, a regular churchgoer, is a sophomore who plays on the football and basketball teams at Little Village Lawndale High School, the lawyer said.
Judge Ankur Srivastava held Hightie without bail at the state’s request.
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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