Man carjacked North Side driver while on electronic monitoring and juvenile parole: prosecutors

Chicago — Prosecutors say a man on bond for allegedly possessing a stolen motor vehicle and on juvenile parole for armed robbery carjacked a driver on the North Side this week.

Julius Willis was ordered held without bail during a bond hearing before Judge Barbara Dawkins. That’s quite a change from the $500 he paid to get out of jail after prosecutors charged him with driving a stolen car on February 6.

During that hearing, Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered Willis to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and to wear a court-operated ankle monitor to keep track of his whereabouts.

“Good luck to you, sir,” McCarthy told Willis after issuing her order. “Don’t pick up any new cases, alright?”

On Monday evening, Willis did pick up a new case for allegedly carjacking a man who was waiting to pick someone up in the 2600 block of West Devon around 8:20 p.m.

Julius Willis | Chicago Police Department

Surveillance videos showed Willis walking across the street and opening the driver’s door while pointing a gun at him, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said during his bail hearing. Willis allegedly pressed the gun against the driver’s body, grabbed his coat, and demanded his money. The victim handed over the cash and got out of the car.

Willis allegedly pushed him out of the way and drove off with the car.

About four hours later, Willis was in the car’s front passenger seat when the vehicle sped away from Illinois State Police troopers at more than 100 mph, according to Dale-Schmidt. Troopers eventually stopped the car and removed the driver, but Willis slid behind the wheel and tried to drive away with the car again, Dale-Schmidt said.

Chicago police officers recognized Willis from surveillance video of the hijacking.

Dale-Schmidt said Willis was adjudicated delinquent in 2022 for unlawful use of a weapon, in 2020 for unlawful use of a credit card, and in 2019 for theft. He was given a sentence of 1-1/2 years for the armed robbery with a firearm case that he’s on juvenile parole for.

His public defender said he goes to church often and helps his pastor feed the homeless. A Lake View High School graduate, Willis is studying brick masonry at Malcolm X College, according to his lawyer.

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