Five-time felon accidentally killed his girlfriend during botched robbery of pot dealer, officials say

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Hillside man shot and killed his girlfriend while trying to rip off a pot dealer on Chicago’s West Side in March.

The Sun-Times reported just two days after the shooting that police believed Genesis Escobar’s boyfriend was responsible, but he was not arrested and charged until late last month.

Chaz Blakes, 35, was ordered held to await trial by Judge Ankur Srivastava.

Officials believe Blakes and Escobar, 21, met up with a pot dealer in the 5200 block of West Montana on March 6. Escobar got into the man’s vehicle while Blakes stood outside.

As the transaction unfolded, Blakes pulled out a gun and tried to rob the dealer while threatening to kill him, prosecutors said.

Chaz Blakes | Chicago Police Department

The robbery “resulted in a shootout, which resulted in his co-offender being shot,” Srivastava noted in his detention order.

Blakes, the pot dealer, and two other men inside the vehicle escaped injury. But Escobar, whose friends told reporters that she was seven months pregnant, was shot four times and died.

“She tumbled out of the car as the driver fled, sending money flying into the street,” the Sun-Times reported on March 8. “Escobar’s boyfriend grabbed some of the cash and also took off, leaving her lying on the ground.”

During the detention hearing, prosecutors said the shooting was captured on video, and two witnesses identified Blakes as the shooter. His phone’s location data put him in the area of the shooting at the time of the crime, they said.

This is not the first time Blakes has been accused of shooting someone. In 2008, he was charged with attempted first-degree murder following a shooting in the 5200 block of West Division, according to CPD and court records. He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated battery by discharging a firearm in exchange for an eight-year sentence.

His other felony convictions include two gun cases and an aggravated fleeing charge, for which he is currently on parole, court records show.

He is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, three counts of discharging a firearm during an attempted robbery, and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint.

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