Driver accidentally shot his passenger while hiding a gun during a traffic stop (and while on parole for murder), prosecutors say

CHICAGO — A man on parole for conspiracy to commit murder is now accused of accidentally shooting a passenger in his car while trying to hide a gun from Chicago cops during a traffic stop.

Marcel Simpson, 43, was paroled in February 2022 after serving half of a 28-year sentence he received in the murder case, according to state records. Officials are now moving to revoke his parole in light of the new allegations.

Chicago cops said they came upon a Mercedes SUV double-parked in the 4100 block of West Washington, an area known for narcotics activity. So, they turned on their emergency equipment to conduct a traffic stop around 9:30 p.m. on January 29. Simpson was the driver, police said.

During the stop, the officers smelled alcohol coming from the car and saw two plastic cups in the center console, so they asked Simpson to step out, according to his arrest report.

He refused, became “agitated,” and rolled up his windows after demanding that a sergeant come to the scene, the report said.

Marcel Simpson (Chicago Police Department)

As the sergeant and the original officers walked toward the SUV a few minutes later, they heard a “pop” sound. Simpson’s passenger stepped out of the SUV, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his ankle, officials said. He told the officers that Simpson shot him while trying to hide a gun under his seat, according to police and prosecutors.

The officers found a 9-millimeter handgun wedged between the driver’s seat and center console and another gun under the passenger seat, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

Cops found even more while impounding the SUV, according to court filings: 78 Xanax bars, 116 grams of pot, suspected ecstasy in a prescription bottle, a baggie of suspect cocaine, three baggies of suspected crack, and a small bag of suspected methamphetamine.

Judge William Fahy detained Simpson on charges of Class X armed habitual criminal and six drug-related felonies.

Simpson has six previous felony convictions, including the murder conspiracy case that he’s on parole for. That charge stems from the May 2006 beating death of a man on the West Side. He was originally sentenced to 36½ years, but that was reduced to 28 years in 2018 after an appeal.

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