Man accused of shooting outside West Loop strip club is released to await trial

Guadalupe Martinez | Chicago Police Department; Google

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been charged with this week’s shooting of a bouncer outside a West Loop strip club, but prosecutors provided virtually no evidence that he committed the crime during a detention hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

Judge Charles Beach noted the sparsity of the state’s case as he rejected its petition to have 27-year-old Guadalupe Martinez detained to await trial.

Martinez and two other men were ejected from Deja Vu Showgirls, 750 South Clinton, around 4 a.m. Thursday. During an argument between the men and club staff members outside the club, Martinez allegedly motioned toward his waistband before the trio climbed into a white Tesla, officials said.

Once the men were inside the vehicle, someone raised a gun through the car’s sunroof and started shooting toward the staff members, prosecutors said. One of the employees returned fire, and another was shot in the leg.

Surveillance video showed flashes coming from the gun, but the footage did not show who fired the weapon, prosecutors said.

Police compared other video footage with identifications presented by that night’s customers to quickly identify the three men and the Tesla’s license plate number, an assistant state’s attorney told Beach.

Cops found Martinez sitting alone inside the bullet-riddled Tesla in the 1700 block of South Lake Shore Drive about 90 minutes after the shooting. Investigators found a gun under his seat and shell casings inside the car, according to prosecutors.

A witness identified Martinez as the man who motioned toward his waistband during the altercation outside the club, but no one has identified him as the shooter, officials said.

His defense attorney quickly dismantled the state’s case, pointing out that three people were inside the Tesla, and prosecutors offered no gunshot residue or fingerprint evidence to support claims that Martinez was the one who fired the gun. The attorney also reminded Beach that someone fired shots at the Tesla, too.

After confirming with prosecutors that nobody saw Martinez with a gun and that there was no video, eyewitness, or other evidence that Martinez fired the weapon, Beach found that the state failed to provide “clear and convincing” evidence that Martinez was responsible. As a result, Beach said, while Martinez was “part and parcel” to the firearm discharge, state law prohibited the judge from detaining him.

Martinez was released from custody with a daily curfew from 8:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.

He is charged with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, aggravated assault by discharging a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and misdemeanor failure to surrender a FOID card.

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