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Cook County criminal court judge slain; police searching for shooter

By LocalLabs News Service | Apr 11, 2017

CHICAGO - Chicago Police say they are continuing to investigate “around the clock” to find and “bring to justice” a man they believe responsible for gunning down a Cook County criminal court judge outside his home early Monday morning.

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles died after he was shot multiple times in what police said could have been robbery attempt gone bad – though they are not ruling out the possibility the murder was a targeted hit on the judge.

According to police, Judge Myles was gunned down outside the garage of his home in the 9400 block of S. Forest Avenue in the West Chesterfield neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side around 5 a.m. on April 10.

At a press conference Monday, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said Myles, 66, appeared to come to the aid of a woman he knew after she became involved in an altercation with a man on a concrete parking pad between the judge’s home and his garage, behind the house. According to Staples, the woman was shot once in the leg. The judge then exited the house, exchanged words with the attacker, who then allegedly shot him multiple times and fled on foot.

The woman then called 911, Staples said, followed by numerous other neighbors.

Staples declined to identify the woman, describing her only as a “close associate” of Myles, with whom the judge would regularly “work out.”

Staples described the suspect only as a “male, black.”

Staples said police have had reports of robberies in the area recently, and said the incident may have been a robbery. However, she would not rule out if the attack was targeted directly at the judge.

Myles, who had served in Cook County’s criminal courts since 1999, had helped preside over some high-profile cases, including of the man convicted of murdering three relatives of singer and actor Jennifer Hudson, and of Anthony Abbate, the Chicago Police officer tried for beating a bartender, among others.

Myles also was involved in an altercation following a traffic crash in 2015, when the other driver allegedly punched the judge in the face.

Staples said Chicago Police were aware of threats the judge has received in the past, but declined to say if the judge’s murder could be tied to those threats, or to any of the judge’s “official duties.”

Kevin Navarro, First Deputy Superintendent of Chicago Police, called the attack “a direct attack on the criminal justice system that keeps our society safe,” and pledged police would hold the judge’s killer “accountable.”

Staples said Chicago Police were reviewing surveillance footage from the vicinity around the judge’s home, and were pursuing “multiple and promising leads.”

The FBI has also offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to identifying and apprehending the judge’s killer.

Also Monday, Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans said he and other judges in the county were mourning the “the tragic passing of our colleague and friend.”

Myles was first appointed to be a Cook County judge in 1999 by the Illinois Supreme Court. The county’s circuit judges then appointed him to serve as an associate judge in June 2001. He served in the county’s Criminal Division since March 2009.

“Judge Myles joined the bench with a wealth of experience in law and extensive service to the community,” Evans said in a prepared statement. “I have always known Judge Myles to be focused and determined in the pursuit of justice, and his conduct earned him the confidence and respect of the people who appeared before him.

“All of our colleagues at the Leighton Criminal Court Building will miss Judge Myles, who they came to know for his kindness and his impartial administration of justice.”

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