Man Charged In Judge’s Shooting Death | WBEZ
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Man Charged In Judge's Shooting Death

A man police said was previously convicted of armed robbery was charged Wednesday with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a Cook County judge.

Joshua Smith, 37, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed robbery, said Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

At a Wednesday evening press conference, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said Smith was convicted of armed robbery with a firearm in 2003 and served six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Associate Judge Raymond Myles and a woman he knew were shot outside his home Monday morning in the 9400 block of South Forest Avenue as they prepared to go to a gym, authorities said. 

Myles, 66, was shot multiple times and later died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, authorities said. The 52-year-old woman was shot in the leg and hospitalized in serious condition, according to police, who have not released her name. Police said they expected the woman to survive.

Staples said detectives used shell casings from the scene to determine the gun had been used in a non-fatal shooting during a January armed robbery in the South Side’s Englewood police district.

Staples said surveillance cameras were also “instrumental” in helping detectives capture the license plate of the getaway vehicle, which was found with swapped out license plates.

She added that detectives do not believe Smith acted alone and the shooting was not “random.” But she offered few details about a motive or other possible suspects, saying “this investigation is far from over and there are currently investigative efforts as we speak.”

Smith is expected to appear for a bond hearing at noon Thursday at the George N. Leighton Courthouse at 2600 S. California Ave., according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Police have said the woman walked outside on Monday and encountered a person holding a gun. Words were exchanged and the woman was shot. Myles then walked outside and was shot multiple times, police said.

Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman, later tweeted that detectives had collected video evidence and at least two “persons of interest” had been identified by Tuesday afternoon. Staples would not discuss potential charges against any other suspects on Wednesday.

Myles was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1999, according to a statement from Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. In 2001, Myles was appointed as an associate judge and began serving in the criminal division in 2009. 

Evans said in a statement that colleagues knew Myles “for his kindness and his impartial administration of justice.”

This week, several neighbors said the block has experienced a recent increase in crime.

“It was [safe], up until a few years ago,” said Raymond Cooke, a CTA worker who lives on the block. “We’ve had a few shootings.”

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was stuck up at gunpoint last fall. She said Myles’ killing has left her afraid to leave her home.

The FBI had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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