CHICAGO — Prosecutors said on Saturday that a Chicago man fatally shot one victim and tried to kill another on March 4 while he was on bail for a pending felony aggravated battery case.
Jelen Lee, 21, is the sixth person accused of killing or trying to kill someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The cases involve nine victims, five of whom died.
Lee was riding in an SUV that pulled up next to a Cadillac occupied by two men in the 2300 block of West Marquette Road shortly before 3 o’clock that afternoon, Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Darman said during Lee’s bail hearing.
Shots were fired from the SUV toward the victims, who sped away and crashed into an auto parts store parking lot. As the victims tried to run away, Lee cut them off while shooting at them, according to Darman.
The two men tried to circle back toward their car, but the SUV cut them off again, and Lee again opened fire, killing 30-year-old Denzel Taylor but missing the other man, who escaped injury, Darman continued.
After the shooting, Lee picked up his girlfriend, who recorded a phone video of him dancing after he wiped down the SUV inside and out, according to Darman.
He also described a series of surveillance video segments in which Lee was allegedly seen traveling in the SUV prior to the shooting, and he claimed Lee’s phone location data placed him at the murder scene.
In one surveillance segment, Lee tossed an item over a fence. That item turned out to be a shell casing that matched casings at the shooting scene, according to Darman. Another matching shell casing was allegedly found inside a KFC bag Lee dropped.
People who know Lee identified him from surveillance images, Darman said, including police officers who arrested him about two weeks before the shooting.
Lee’s defense attorney said he owns a silk-screen business.
Judge Charles Beach held him without bail on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
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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