Friday, August 30, 2013

The "Halloween Shooter" Gets Sentenced

Residents who lived here on Halloween 2010 may remember it turning into a very grim day, thanks to Uptown's gangbangers.  A court advocate sent in a report on the resolution of the case that started because of that day:

"Finally!  Longest case I've ever followed as a court advocate has finally come to an end after nearly three years!

On Halloween afternoon, in 2010, all hell broke loose at Montrose and Magnolia when three gang members got shot.  The bullets were fired right on the same sidewalk where parents and kids were trick or treating!  According to testimony, a black car pulled up, a shooter got out, and started firing at rival gang members.  Trick-or-treaters were diving behind cars and running behind trees to avoid being hit!  It was a terrible day.  It got worse.  A couple hours later a man named Marlos Canteberry was shot and killed, probably in retaliation.*

A day or so later, an admitted P Stone named Akelo Washington was arrested and charged with eight counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon.  He was out on bond for a drug possession charge at the time.  He'd already done time in the penitentiary for robbery.

The ages of the people involved in this incident was shocking to me.  The three kids who were shot were only 13 and 17!  Akelo Washington was only 20 years old himself at the time.

The case dragged on for nearly three years because the drug possession case had to be settled before they could get to the shooting charge.  For every single court appearance during that time, there were court advocates there from Uptown Chicago Commission, the 19th District, and/or the 20th District.  That's a lot of trips to 26th and Cal!

Wednesday it was finally over.  Akelo Washington received three years (to be served at 50% of the sentence if he stays on good behavior) for the drug charge.  He pled guilty to two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and was sentenced to ten years (to be served at 85% with good behavior).  These sentences run consecutively, not concurrently.  If he doesn't get credit for good behavior, he could end up serving the entire 13 years.  Then there are two years of supervision when he gets out.

He will be in jail for 1.5 years on the drugs charge and 8.5 years on the shooting charge.  He has 456 days credit for time already served.  He asked for good-time credit for being a 'peer tutor' in something called the Pace Program.  The judge said he could ask IDOC for it, but he probably wouldn't get it because of his previous penitentiary stint.  He'll most likely spend all/most of his 20s in prison.

The two counts he pled guilty on were on behalf of members of the community who were in the line of fire, not on behalf of the people who got shot.  I think we need to thank those people for being willing to become part of the case.

At the end of the sentencing, his attorney said that Akelo Washington had a child he'd never had a chance to hold and he'd like to, with the judge's permission.  Judge Brosnahan flatly refused him that opportunity.

One thing I noticed is that his family was in court every time I was, but his gang wasn't.  They weren't there to support him during his long trial.  They won't be serving time with him.  I hope he and others eventually realize that that gang life is bait-and-switch.  Akelo Washington was willing to shoot people for the gang.  When it came time to face the consequences, he was there all by himself with his family.

The Community Justice Center/State's Attorneys did a great job with these two cases, which took 34 months.  Even the judge was exasperated with how long it took to get it all finished.

I'm glad it's finally over."

* Update:  Mr. Canteberry's family asked us to clarify that he was not in a gang and had never been.  He was walking to the store on the night he was murdered.  He left behind a nine-year-old son, a girlfriend and a grieving family.  There is no doubt that emotions were running high after Mr. Washington's shooting of three gang members a couple hours earlier.  Would Mr. Canteberry have been murdered if there had been no shooting a few hours earlier?  It's impossible to say, but we believe not.  It's a tragic ripple effect and this time it caused the death of an apparent innocent bystander.


  1. What? A max of 13 years? Charged with aggravated discharge of a weapon? He should have been charged with ATTEMPTED MURDER! This scum will be out in no time wreaking havoc again.

    Our justice system is massively screwed up.

  2. Good work! From what i understand these were complicated cases and I'm pleased that they finally came to a close.

  3. It's time to think "outside the box". Anyone remember the successful midnight CHA basketball league? It reduced crime & cost the city very little to run. Of course, now we could call it Section 8 ball. When is the city going to realize that something, besides the usual, is needed to stop the mayhem?

  4. Jeff, read between the lines. It was a gang shooting. The charges were brought on behalf of non-gang members who were in the line of fire. It's obvious to me that the shooting victims wouldn't cooperate with the case. Sounds like good witnesses and good prosecution made this happen. He'll spend a third of his life in jail because of his actions that day. Not what I consider an easy sentence.

  5. Ok,

    by Cook County standards this is a long sentence. Thank you to the people who followed through on this whether witnesses, court advocates or CJ system personnel.

    Now I'm not a math whiz, but has anyone else noticed something here?

    This was 34 months ago. That's roughly 1020 days. He got 456 days credit for time served. This idiot has been out on the street for over half those 1000+ days.

    My browsing of the mugshot databases tells me that he was likely sitting in County Jail since August 2012. Before then? It looks like he spent some time in jail after his arrest in November 2010, probably 3 months or so, and then was released and then arrested again.

    That is absolutely nutz. This guy should never have made bond or whatever the hell got him out of county. I'm guessing that his baby was born after he was arrested in August 2012 and the "procreation" of said child happened while he was out AFTER the shooting.

    You shoot up a street filled with trick or treaters, you get arrested days later and then you get bond?

    There are times that the criminal justice system is truly criminal.

  6. Oh, one more thang.


    you neglected to mention anything alcohol or methadone clinic related in your comment.

    Please correct that with a new comment.

    Otherwise the Uptown Universe may fall out of balance or something.

  7. Oh sorry, gg - he should have actually hit one of those innocent non-gang member bystanders before he would be charged with attempted murder? I see. I don't care who he is firing at, he opened fire on a crowd of people. You unload a gun into a crowd of people and its seems damn well close to attempted murder to me. Maybe I'm not reading as close to the lines as you....

  8. Jeff, this is why you're not a lawyer. Neither am I but I understand that the law is very complicated and you can't just charge someone with whatever you want to if the laws, as written, do not allow for that charge. Intent is a big piece of what one can be charged with. Who the shooter intended to hit, dictates what charges can be brought. Now, if a bystander had been shot (and dies), then you're looking at manslaughter or 2nd degree murder charges; if the bystander survives, then attempted murder might be a possible charge (or aggravated assault with a handgun).

  9. The CHA 16 team basketball league was such a success that it was suppose to be expanded city wide. I think it was cancelled in the mid '90s. The games pitted housing project vs. housing project which usually meant gang vs gang. Todays version could be marketed "Shoot Hoops Not Guns". Normal tax paying citizens could watch these games & get a better understanding of todays "urban youth".

  10. Jeff, he went into the courtroom presumed to be innocent of any wrongdoing. It is up to the prosecution to prove what happened, if anything, that day. In essence, it's not what happened as much as it is what can be proved to have happened that day. I'm not trying to be condescending or simplistic, but many people don't realize that it all depends on what can be proven, which hopefully is what actually happened, but not always.

    For all we know, he was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder. If the evidence had been able to support those charges, I'm sure they would have gone for them. But with a lack of witnesses with holes in them, I'm sure they went for the strongest charges they could make stick. In our system of law, you can't be tried for what "might have happened," or even "what happened." It's based on "what happened that you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt." Missing or uncooperative witnesses don't make that an easy thing to do.

    All I know is, he's in jail for a good decade, at least, and I'm happy with that, no matter what the charges were. After all, they got Al Capone on income tax evasion .......

  11. For those of you who think this is a relatively easy prison sentence I bring you a "blast from the past".

    Poor word choice on my part, I know.

    Make sure you read the last part of that post which is an epilogue of sorts or perhaps a postscript with just a pinch of Old Testament justice.

    I refuse to hyperlink as the shooters are undeserving or were undeserving in the case of one dearly departed banger. The other involved banger is currently sitting in county jail on an armed robbery charge.

    While they got off easy on the Broadway/Wilson shooting, less than two years for shooting a young woman, the karma train pulled up and waited for both of them.

    Given their stupid haircuts I imagine the conductor of the karma train had an easy time finding them as did the grim reaper in the case of the dearly departed.