2 parolees charged with murdering young father during a robbery on the NW Side

CHICAGO — Two men with extensive criminal records, both on parole, robbed and murdered a young father as he walked to work on the Northwest Side last month, prosecutors said Tuesday. Both men were arrested within hours of the murder after police watched them clean their getaway car for four hours, officials said, but prosecutors refused to file charges, and they were set free while detectives continued to build a case.

Judge Mary Marubio detained Justin Redmond, 41, during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse earlier today. Divonte Calhoun, 32, did not appear in court because he was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He will be held until he can appear in person for a detention hearing on Thursday.

Prosecutor Anne McCord Rodgers detailed extensive video footage and phone data that allegedly linked both men to the murder and robbery, which occurred in the 3900 block of North Pittsburgh around 7:05 a.m. on May 10.

Rodriguez was walking to work when Calhoun stepped out of the passenger side of a Chrysler and confronted him on the street, Rodgers said. The men fought, and Rodriguez broke away, crossing the street as Calhoun followed.

Horrifying surveillance video showed what happened next: Calhoun shot Rodgriguez, who fell through an unlocked gate and collapsed on the front sidewalk of a home, according to the allegations.

Calhoun allegedly went through Rodriguez’s pockets as the 24-year-old lay on the ground, mortally wounded but still conscious.

“Calhoun is heard demanding [Rodriguez] ‘Give me the f***ing money,” Rodgers said. As Rodriguez yelled for help, Calhoun ran away and was seen using a phone, apparently to call someone, as he fled, according to Rodgers.

The Chrysler, allegedly driven by Redmond, swung around the block and picked Calhoun up moments later.

Rodgers confirmed reporting by CWBChicago from the day of the murder that police had linked the Chrysler to an armed carjacking that occurred about three hours earlier in the 3600 block of North Lavergne. The Chrysler and the hijacked car were seen traveling together on license plate readers in Norridge, she said.

Police used that license plate data to identify the Chrysler’s owner: Calhoun’s mother.

The Chrysler hit on another plate reader in Gurnee, Calhoun’s hometown, about seven hours after the murder, Rodgers explained. Police “observed two males cleaning the interior of the car for approximately 4 hours,” Rodgers wrote in a proffer of facts provided by the state’s attorney’s office.

Investigators then followed the car from Gurnee to Chicago, where they arrested both men. However, Rodgers said they were both released without being charged at that time.

Chicago police recovered data from cellular providers that linked both men to phones that pinged in the area of the murder at the time of the crime, she said. Police also found surveillance video at a Waukegan gas station that clearly showed both men exiting the Chrysler after the shooting, according to Rodgers.

Both men are charged with first-degree murder, murder during the commission of a forcible felony, and armed robbery with a firearm.

Calhoun has been on parole since September 1 after serving half of the 18-year sentence he received for armed robbery in 2015. He also received two concurrent 15-year sentences for two other robberies at the same time. He was previously convicted of two robberies in 2011 and received sentences of five and three years, according to court records.

Redmond was paroled on November 21 after serving half of the 54-month sentence he received for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has six other felony convictions for guns, narcotics, and possessing a stolen motor vehicle.

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About Tim Hecke 333 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