Chicago man murdered another because he thought the victim touched him while riding a CTA bus: prosecutors

Taevion Benjamin-Smith, left, and Cortez Money (Chicago Police Department, Legal Help Firm)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago man beat another man to death earlier this year because he believed the victim touched him while riding a CTA bus.

Police officers responding to a battery in progress call in the 900 block of East 79th Street late on January 3 found Cortez Money, 33, unresponsive. He later died, succumbing to injuries he suffered in a physical attack, according to the medical examiner’s office.

This week, prosecutors filed charges in the case, identifying Taevion Benjamin-Smith, 25, as the murderer. Benjamin-Smith, who has had two active arrest warrants out of Kane County since 2021 for burglary and theft, was detained by Judge Kelly McCarthy to await trial.

Prosecutors told McCarthy that Benjamin-Smith followed Money off the bus and then blocked Money’s path. They said Benjamin-Smith hit Money in the face, knocking him to the ground. While Money was down, Benjamin-Smith continued to kick, punch, and stomp on Money, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

McCarthy noted in her detention order that Benjamin-Smith confessed to the crime. His Chicago police arrest report states that he was identified through “digital evidence,” possibly CTA video.

Editor’s note: Because the felony charges pending against Benjamin-Smith are in a different county, he will not be included in CWBChicago’s list of people charged with shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill people while on felony bond. He will, however, be listed as a “dishonorable mention.”

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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