Feds charge 2 with killing man outside ‘Youth Peace Center’ (one was on bail for a gun case)

CHICAGO — Two Chicago men, including one who was on bail for a Class X felony gun case, have been indicted in federal court in a murder-for-hire scheme that left a man dead outside a youth peace center nearly two years ago.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago announced the charges against Anthony Montgomery-Wilson, 24, and Preston Powell, 23. A federal grand jury returned the true bill in October, but it remained under seal until Monday’s announcement.

Both men conspired with others and with each other to murder 24-year-old Stephon Mack outside the Youth Peace Center of Roseland on January 27, 2022, officials said. Two gunmen opened fire on Mack as he exited the building. He was killed, and a Youth Peace Center security guard suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound.

Powell is at large, while Montgomery-Wilson is currently incarcerated at the Menard Correctional Center on firearms and stolen motor vehicle charges.

Anthony Montgomery-Wilson (L) in a 2019 mugshot. Federal prosecutors released images that allegedly show him running with a firearm at the shooting scene (center) and Preston Powell firing a gun nearby (right). | Chicago Police Department; U.S. Attorney’s office

Both men are charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire, federal officials said in a press release. Montgomery-Wilson is also accused of a firearms violation.

The murder-for-hire charge carries a sentence of either mandatory life in prison or death, the press release said.

Montgomery-Wilson was on bail for Class X armed habitual criminal charges at the time of the shooting. He picked up the stolen motor vehicle case while he was on bail for the Class X charge, too, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a stolen motor vehicle before Judge Stanley Sacks in January 2023, court records show. Sacks sentenced him to four years on each count, with the sentences to be served consecutively.

During his bail hearing on the stolen motor vehicle case, prosecutors said he had been previously convicted of felony gun violations in 2017 and 2018.

He is the 61st person accused of killing or shooting—or trying to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago last year while having a felony case pending. At least 106 people were allegedly victimized in the crimes, and 29 died.

The “not horrible” series

This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others while awaiting trial for a 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. 

Previous “not horrible” stories are available here.”

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About Tim Hecke 326 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com