#18: Man tried to kill 2 Chicago firefighters while on bail awaiting new trial for a 2005 murder case, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — When Melvin Jordan was convicted of murdering rap producer Aaron Dickens and trying to kill another person on Chicago’s West Side in 2005, a judge handed him a 41-year sentence. But there was a problem.

Jordan’s attorney during the murder trial also represented his alleged accomplice, Maurice Bryant. And in 2019, a Cook County judge ruled that the attorney’s conflict of interests was significant enough to warrant new trials for both men.

Judge Lawrence Flood reversed the convictions and vacated the sentences. Both men were eventually released on bail to await new trials.

Bryant is still on bail.

Jordan, 47, was free on a $45,000 bail deposit. But not anymore. He’s back in jail, accused of trying to murder two Chicago firefighters inside his home late last month.

He is the 18th person accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The cases involve at least 30 victims, nine of whom died.

Armed robberies

At the time of the 2005 shootings, Jordan was on parole for three Class X armed robberies committed in 2000.

In one case, he followed a Radio Shack employee into a back room and demanded money from the register. He forced the worker to their knees at gunpoint and made them face the wall, then handcuffed them to a desk and fled with cash and other items, officials said.

Jordan teamed up with an accomplice to rob a hotel clerk at gunpoint. They left the victim handcuffed to a vehicle behind the hotel.

Melvin Jordan | Cook County sheriff’s office

He and another person also robbed a third business at gunpoint, forcing the clerk into the back of the store and ordering them to open the safe. They also left that victim handcuffed to a vehicle behind the business.

Jordan received three concurrent seven-year sentences for those crimes.

A fire

Midday on August 29, the Chicago Fire Department responded to the 7700 block of South Marshfield to handle reports of a garage on fire. When they arrived, Jordan’s detached garage was engulfed in flames.

While they were there, Jordan asked two firefighters to investigate a natural gas leak in his basement, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said during Jordan’s bail hearing earlier this month.

Jordan unbolted the basement door with a drill. And the firefighters went inside to investigate. But they didn’t smell a gas leak. When they turned around, Jordan was bolting up the stairs, Dale-Schmidt said.

The firefighters started to head out, too, until they were allegedly confronted on the staircase by Jordan, who was jabbing an 8- to 10-inch knife toward them.

This story is made possible by contributions to the Cook County Courtroom Transparency Fund.

“You’re not going anywhere,” Jordan told the firefighters while directing them toward the living room, according to a transcript of the bail hearing.

Inside Jordan’s home, the firefighters realized that the front and back doors had been barricaded with deadbolts and two-by-four boards, Dale-Schmidt said. They tried to break the doors down but couldn’t do it.

Jordan refused to let them out, insisting he wanted to talk to the FBI.

Both firefighters eventually escaped by bailing out through a front window.

Police and firefighters broke down the front door and found Jordan hiding in a bathroom, according to Dale-Schmidt. She said they recovered two knives and a gun holster from Jordan’s apartment and found a handgun on an upstairs landing.

The police also saw what they believed to be gasoline spread throughout the home’s first floor, she said.

“The unusual facts and circumstances of this case give rise to substantial issues that may have been going on with Mr. Jordan during this time,” said Joshua Kutnick, Jordan’s defense attorney during the bail hearing and in the pending 2005 retrial.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Jordan to be held without bail. He is charged with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated armed kidnapping, and unlawful restraint. Prosecutors also charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon for the gun police said they found on the staircase.

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. 

#1: Chicago man stabbed, beat roommate to death while awaiting trial for burglary, prosecutors say (February 18, 2023)

#2: Attempted murder charge for woman who randomly stabbed victim while on bail for randomly stabbing other people (March 5, 2023)

#3: She tried to kill a woman while on bail for trying to kill yet another woman, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#4: Man charged with killing woman while on felony bail after Chicago cops gather a mountain of video evidence, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#5: Convicted murderer killed 2, wounded 1 while on electronic monitoring for gun possession, prosecutors say (April 18, 2023)

#6: Man killed 1, tried to kill another while on felony bail, prosecutors say (April 29, 2023)

#7: Man shot good Samaritan who went to check on him inside wrecked, smoking car, prosecutors say (May 5, 2023)

#8: 4 people, all with extensive juvenile criminal backgrounds, killed off-duty Chicago cop during armed robbery: prosecutors (May 10, 2023)

#9: Man accidentally shot front seat passenger while handling gun in car’s back seat, prosecutors say (May 23, 2023)

#10: Chicago man shot his brother because he was ‘tired of’ the sibling, prosecutors say (June 3, 2023)

#11: Chicago man killed robbery victim while on electronic monitoring for another robbery case: prosecutors (June 5, 2023)

#12: Man shot at, tried to kill Chicago cops while on parole and felony bail, prosecutors say (June 8, 2023)

#13: Seven-time felon shot a long-time friend, ‘firing round after round,’ while on felony bail, prosecutors say (July 11, 2023)

#14: Man on bail for machine gun possession opened fire on pedestrians, shooting a 16-year-old, officials say (July 13, 2023)

#15: Hitman killed target while on bail for trying to disarm a cop, prosecutors say (July 22, 2023)

#16: Brothers shot two women during family gathering in Bronzeville, prosecutors say (August 3, 2023)

#17: Drive-by shooter killed 1, injured 4, and accidentally shot an accomplice while on bail for machine gun possession, prosecutors say (August 25, 2023)

2022 “not horrible” cases

2021 “not horrible” cases

2020 “not horrible” cases

2019 “not horrible” cases

About CWBChicago 6547 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com