20 years for man who killed 1, injured 2 in downtown Chicago subway shooting

Torrez Cathery, left, and Edward Charleston (Chicago Police Department, Cards84664, Legal Help Firm)

CHICAGO — The man accused of an “execution-style” shooting inside a downtown Chicago subway tunnel that left one dead and two others was handed a 20-year sentence on Thursday. Torrez Cathery pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree murder, a charge that was reduced from murder, according to court records. Prosecutors dropped 19 other felonies, including 14 murder counts.

Edward Charleston, 24, recognized Cathery as they rode a Red Line train to the Loop around 2 a.m. on February 17, 2020. Cathery had threatened Charleston with a knife a few months earlier, and Charleston wanted to talk with him about it, officials said. The men exited at Jackson, and Charleston followed Cathery into the pedestrian tunnel to confront him.

Inside the tunnel, Cathery turned around and started shooting at Charleston, striking him nine times. Officials said that Cathery also shot another man and a 19-year-old woman. Cathery ran a short distance, fired more shots, and left the tunnel.

He returned a few moments later. By then, Charleston had run from the tunnel, but the other male victim was lying injured on the pedway floor. Prosecutors said Cathery stood over the second man and fired two shots at his head. Still, that victim survived.

Cathery was “standing right under a camera” that recorded him firing the gun, a prosecutor said during an initial court appearance.

Charlie Beck, who was serving as CPD’s interim police superintendent, called the video “quite shocking” and described the shooting as “execution style.”

When police arrested Cathery a few days later, they discovered a firearm in his waistband that investigators linked to the shooting through lab tests.

Judge Nicholas Kantas accepted the state’s plea deal and sentenced Cathery yesterday. Cathery’s sentence will be reduced to ten years for good behavior. He also receives 1,562 days of credit earned while in the Cook County jail.

Cathery also pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing a weapon in prison, a charge he picked up last year while in jail. Kantas sentenced him to four years for that case.

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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