30-year-old man arrested in North Lawndale for murder after being released from downstate jail

After serving less than a year for an illegal firearm conviction, a 30-year-old man was arrested on Friday as he left a downstate prison and charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting unrelated to North Lawndale almost two years ago.

During his initial hearing on Sunday, prosecutors said Devon Harper admitted to the September 20, 2020 attack when Chicago investigators interviewed him earlier this year while he was still incarcerated at the US Department of Corrections. ‘Illinois. Harper reportedly told detectives he shot Myrio Shields, 46, because he believed Shields had killed his friend two months earlier.

Devon Harper

Illinois Department of Corrections

As Shields sat in the driver’s seat of a Dodge Challenger in the 3900 block of West Roosevelt Road, Harper jumped out of a Ford Explorer and shot him in the chest and arm, the authorities said. prosecutors. Shields attempted to start but slammed into another vehicle a few blocks away, injuring the other driver and a pedestrian.

He was later rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead, prosecutors said.

Harper drove through a gas station after the shooting, then got back into the Explorer and dumped a hoodie in a donation bin, prosecutors said. Detectives later recovered the sweatshirt, which bore an image of Marilyn Monroe, and found it positive for gunshot residue.

Surveillance footage captured the shooting and showed Harper was wearing the sweatshirt when he opened fire, prosecutors said. The explorer was registered with his girlfriend, who has since given birth to their child.

Prosecutors said Harper identified several photographs taken from surveillance footage when he spoke to detectives, including footage that showed him getting out of the Explorer with the sweatshirt.

Harper had previously been sentenced to probation three times after being separately convicted of a felony drug charge and misdemeanor aggravated assault and domestic battery.

He was then arrested last February – just over four months after the fatal shooting – for unlawful possession of a firearm, prosecutors said. He was sentenced last July to three years in prison in the case, according to Cook County court records.

IDOC records show he was granted parole from Menard Correctional Center on Friday when prosecutors said Area 4 detectives took him into custody.

Harper’s public defender Mark Joslyn described his client as an unemployed high school graduate. Joslyn said Harper’s claim that he fired in response to another murder suggests “self-defense motive,” but he didn’t explain how.

Citing the extensive video evidence and Harper’s own confession, Judge Maryam Ahmad said he posed a threat to public safety and ordered him held without bail.

His next court date has been set for July 5.

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