Charges Dropped in Chicago Quadruple Murder Due to ‘Unreliable Witnesses’

Quadruple Killing Charges Dropped

FILE – In this March 30, 2017, file photo, Dana Jackson is consoled after finding out her two sons, Raheem and Dillon Jackson, were shot and killed during a quadruple killing in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Murder charges have been dropped against Maurice Harris, who was accused of the fatal shootings at a Chicago restaurant. A spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office says that prosecutors sought to drop the charges Wednesday, June 17, 2020 “in the interest of justice.” They cited unreliable eyewitness accounts in their request for the dismissal. (Chris Sweda /Chicago Tribune via AP)

From the AP:

Murder charges have been dropped against a man who was accused of fatally shooting four people at a Chicago restaurant in 2017, with prosecutors citing unreliable eyewitness accounts in their request for the case’s dismissal.

Maurice Harris, 22, was charged in April 2017 with more than two dozen counts, including murder and attempted murder, in the March 2017 quadruple killing. He’d been held without bail at the Cook County Jail since his arrest three years ago.

Court records show that at prosecutors’ request the charges against Harris were dropped at a Wednesday hearing.

Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, said in a statement that eyewitness accounts were found to be unreliable.

“After a thorough review, which included an additional investigation that was conducted after the charges were filed, we concluded that the totality of the evidence, including eyewitness accounts, was insufficient to meet our burden of proof and we are unable to move forward with the prosecution of this case,” Simonton said.

She added that prosecutors asked the court to dismiss the all charges filed against Harris “in the interest of justice.”

Three eyewitnesses had previously identified Harris as the alleged killer of Dillon Jackson, 20; his brother, Raheem Jackson, 19; Emmanuel Stokes, 28; and Edwin Davis, 32.

When Harris was charged, police said he had carried out the shootings to avenge the fatal shooting of his 37-year-old father, Jerry Jacobs, who was slain along a sidewalk the day before the quadruple killing when four males got out of a van and opened fire.

The four victims were fatally shot at Nadia Fish and Chicken during a violent day in Chicago’s South Shore that saw seven people killed in the neighborhood.

Ian Barney, one of Harris’ attorneys, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he and other attorneys had uncovered a growing amount of evidence to show that Harris could not have been the shooter and that the witness identifications weren’t credible.

“I’m not going to second-guess what they did, because at the end of the day, they had individuals who identified our client in a photo array. But when you take a step back and you look at those identifications, they didn’t make any sense,” Barney said.

With the murder charges dropped, he said he expects Harris to be released from jail “relatively soon.”

comments

  1. avatar Roger J says:

    This article is a simple explanation of the murder rate in Chicago. Never ending retaliation.

    1. avatar The Rookie says:

      Yep. One suspects Harris is now a marked man himself. He was probably safer in jail than he’ll be out on the streets.

    2. avatar Dan says:

      Like shia vs sunni

      1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

        Good point. That “war” will never end. Sometimes those go on for +1,000 years. They never get along until they have a common enemy. (See: Balkan wars, Iran/Iraq war, American Indian wars, Irish Protestant/Catholic.)

      2. avatar bill knight says:

        Or the Crips and the Bloods?

      3. avatar Miner49er says:

        Catholics versus protestants

        Christians versus Mormons

        1. avatar Armorer94 says:

          Pepsi vs. Coke. The struggle is real.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          please, as if. royal crown.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Roger J.,

      This article also supports my assertion from about two weeks ago when I agreed that mostly defunding police in urban Hell holes will be a net positive for society.

      I stated that police are not effective at solving murders and imprisoning murderers. (Inadequate resourcing, lack of interest, malfeasance, and/or incompetence are often leading causes.) I stated that the public often (perhaps almost always) refuses to assist for various reasons. I also said that the locals will “take out the trash”. Finally, I stated that criminals have absolutely no trouble whatsoever committing violent acts right now with all the police currently on staff. (Implication: so why even bother having police when they virtually never stop crimes in progress?)

      This story supports all of those assertions.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        And adding to my assertion that life will not degrade if we mostly defund police in urban Hell holes:

        Were there a bunch of armed robberies, aggravated assaults, rapes, and murders in the Seattle Autonomous Zone? How about Atlanta last night and into today amidst reports that many/most police are not responding to calls?

        I am not here to bash police. I am simply stating that they are largely (almost entirely?) ineffective in urban Hell holes. That being the case, why keep paying for huge numbers of them?

        1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          ” I am simply stating that they are largely (almost entirely?) ineffective in urban Hell holes.”

          I agree. If citizens don’t support cops and testify when the time’s come. You will have no civilized society. No one can force people to be civilized. They have to choose to be civilized. And then stay that way.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          There are reports of all kinds of criminal activity going on in the Seattle zone. With no police there, who knows if it’s credible?

          It appears as though Seattle has decided to help put up it’s own more permanent barriers around the “zone.” It looks like we might have an interesting experiment there.

        3. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          Were there a bunch of armed robberies, aggravated assaults, rapes, and murders in the Seattle Autonomous Zone? How about Atlanta last night and into today amidst reports that many/most police are not responding to calls?

          How about the murder rate in NYC doubled in the last month over last year and is up 25% for the whole year over year.. LA has also seen a significant increase and you can bet Atlanta won’t be far behind… The “Ferguson effect” IS a real thing…

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Hannibal and Madd Maxx,

          First of all, we should use police where they are effective and where they are actually needed. It sounds like the Autonomous Zone in Seattle is relatively quiet and we don’t need much policing there.

          Assuming there really is an uptick in crime in urban Hell holes, I doubt that is due to any “Ferguson effect”. Rather, it is much more likely due to additional stress of COVID-19 virus stresses (unemployment) and recently enacted zero-cash bail policies. Either way, note that crime has increased even though police staffing hasn’t diminished.

          Finally, I wholeheartedly support and praise basic effective policing efforts to assist/prosecute cases of theft, armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape, and murder. As luck would have it, I am actively working with law enforcement agencies in two states for the last few days to recover a machine (worth at least $4000) that someone stole from me. We identified the thief, my stolen machine, and his location: now we are waiting for the thief to return to his home and the local police to bust him and secure my stolen machine.

          Where I withdraw my support for law enforcement is when they enforce fiat laws (e.g. victimless crimes) or when they are ineffective in their attempts to enforce laws for victims.

        5. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          when they enforce fiat laws (e.g. victimless crimes)
          What do you consider a victimLESS CRIME? Even jaywalking has the potential to create a victim…. “LAWS” (a keyword in your essay) are written by people elected by YOU (assuming you bother to vote) to represent your interests and to insure your safety and quality of life, they in turn employ a police department to enforce the laws that they wrote on your behalf… The policeman/woman is given a mandate to uphold those laws and is NOT given a lot of discretion as to what laws to enforce and what laws to ignore (that’s why they are referred to as “Law Enforcement Officers”)… Now If you don’t like a particular law or recognize a law as victimless then either run for office or work to get someone elected who will change it… Since you are the “smart one” here you are obviously more astute at determining the true cause of the increase in murders in major cities that have disparaged their cops and instituted the current “no bail” reforms than those whose job is to do just that… Anyway another “Death by Covid-19” sounds better than the old Ferguson Effect, guess that was just some bullshit theory, right? Must be awesome to be blessed with that depth of insight.. Kind of like your basic “cops suck unless it benefits me” attitude..
          ” Assuming there really is an uptick in crime in urban Hell holes”
          I didn’t just make that shit up, it has been reported by at least two news networks and in several news articles, not that hard to find…
          As far as the CHUMP zone being a trouble free utopia? You have obviously been watching too much CNN, I’ve seen the real videos of the beatings, armed wanna-be thugs, theft, sexual assault… when the sun goes down MSDNC and Clinton News Network head for the hills and the real party begins, don’t ask for links, I had to look for it you can too…

        6. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Wall the area off and prevent escapes. Optional bonus points for cutting off electricity, water, sewage, garbage collection, internet (oh the humanity!), postal services, and welfare.

        7. avatar Roger J says:

          You are not going to get an argument from me. However in my experience the low number or murder arrests in Chicago is mainly attributed to lack of cooperation from the public due to fear. Additionally those who have been severely injured will not tell the police who shot them. They much prefer to take care of the job themselves or by surviving fellow gang members.

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Move the law enforcement to other areas and with the cost savings, teach these thugs some marksmanship. If they were better shots maybe they would kill each other off quickly.

      3. avatar bill knight says:

        Also supports the assertion that places with crippling firearms restrictions, ensure only the criminals are armed and they will act with impunity. Liberalize the Carry laws and the criminals will think twice before acting. Seems they don’t like getting shot either!

        1. avatar Kyle knight says:

          You’re an assertion

      4. avatar Mainer Ex_Cop says:

        Agree completely. Cops are merely anthropologists, they show up to something that has already happened and try to piece the puzzle together. By definition they are reactionary. They do not cannot prevent or deter crime.

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          Not really.
          I think it has been clearly demonstrated that a proactive policing (broken wndows/stop-frisk-/long sentences) can make a very measurable decrease in crime and the large falls in crime over the past 20 years bears that out.

          And then just the opposite of that policing policy due to Furguson effect has shown marked increase in crime rates since Furgeson.

          But hey, if urban folks don’t want proactive policiing, then give them what they want, good and hard.

  2. avatar Dennis says:

    You’d think by now they would be an endangered species! But no, there’s a new crop comin up right behind em!!!

  3. avatar Florida Kracker says:

    You mean it was black on black crime? Get the ×××k outta here I thought it was jus cops who was doin all the killin, they should have a protest against the AFRICAN community.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Same old same old…no death penalty in Chiraq(or ILL). I’m not even dissing homie the killer. When I sold insurance all over the Southside one memorable visit was a house near 115th&State. West Pullman. The porch was emblazoned with a huge sign “You hit us we hit you”. You can’t fix ghetto…

    1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      I think that’s how the Mafia works. NO one steals from them. No one cheats them.
      I remember a car blowing up on the 55th st./Rte 83 on-ramp in the early 80’s. The guy had a vending maching business and was skimming some coins. Oops.
      Did that qualify for the Darwin Award that year?

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        That’s trivially easy to catch.

        Coin-op machines have a non-re settable mechanical ‘coin counter’ mechanism in them.

        The person doing the collecting records that number when pulling the money from the machine.

        Think along the idea of an hours or Hobbs meter on heavy construction equipment or an aircraft…

  5. avatar American Patriot says:

    That’s because Black on Black don’t matter, but put 1 oz of white in the picture & all hell breaks loose!

  6. avatar Ing says:

    Held without bail for THREE YEARS on a charge that didn’t meet the burden of proof. How’s that for justice?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ing,

      If police/prosecutors placed him at/near the crime scene and multiple witnesses picked him out of a photo line-up, that sure seems to provide legitimate probable cause to arrest and jail the accused until his trial.

      The real miscarriage of justice here is the fact that it took three years before the criminal-justice system decided his case one way or another — which just so happens to violate our United States Constitutional right to a speedy trial. I can see maybe as much as three months for the prosecutor to build the case and go to trial. Beyond that is too long and far too disruptive if the accused walks away free/not-guilty.

      1. avatar Leigh says:

        maybe he or his attorney waived the right to a speedy trial…just sayin’…

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I assume that is a normal thing. Given the requirements for evidence in order to just arrest you, it looks like the accused *should* be able to require the trial to begin tomorrow. If the prosecution needs more time than that, the accused should remain free until they are ready. Delaying the trial at the request of the accused makes perfect sense, he may not have any idea there was a crime. But if you are arrested and you are sure you have done nothing wrong, you should be able to demand that speedy trial, rather than allowing months or years for evidence to be manufactured against you.

        2. avatar 9x39 says:

          @Larry

          Would that it was the case here. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Florida has ruled otherwise during the Covid-19 crisis. Everything concerning my own situation has been pushed back for literal months. A conference w/ my Attorney, the Judge, & Prosecutor was kicked back another month + very recently. Actual court dates? Who knows?

          Meanwhile in the face of impending doom, I’m ordered to stand down & disarm with the threat sidled up in near constant close proximity. I can’t put voice to the thoughts that go through my mind on that. Other than out-f*cking-standing, at what is effectively an order to lie down and wait to die…

          So much for the right to defend oneself. Galling.

    2. avatar Dude says:

      With the murder charges dropped, he said he expects Harris to be released from jail “relatively soon.”

      Relatively soon, but not immediately? No charges, but they’ll release him when they decide to get around to it? That seems messed up.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        Are you seriously crying over a scumbag “Banger” because he might have to sit in jail for a couple more days AFTER the fucking city set him up for a multi-million dollar lawsuit? Hopefully the families of those four who were tried, sentenced and executed WITHOUT benefit of defense or a jury trial will find SOME way to ease their pain and suffering when Harris walks out of jail….

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Of course not, but if he isn’t being charged, then we don’t know that he did it. Apparently law enforcement doesn’t feel too confident about it. There are people on death row that end up getting released when new evidence comes to light.

          I just read the source article and it looks like there are other, related charges that they have to get around to dropping.

  7. avatar Shire-man says:

    But didn’t their lives matter?

    1. avatar Leigh says:

      no money to be made…

    2. avatar ChoseDeath says:

      I’m SURE someone will protest somewhere… 😂 Like already stated, no money to be grifted.

  8. avatar Leigh says:

    With any luck a family member of one of the victims will take good care of this fine fellow when he is released back into society
    This stuff happened when the mob/mafia ruled places, too
    people didn’t see nuttin’…they was mistaken…etc etc etc

    1. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      If you res the article police determined he COULDN’T have been the shooter. So likely he was on camera someplace else at the time of the shooting or maybe in jail for something.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        If you res the article police determined he COULDN’T have been the shooter.

        “After a thorough review, which included an additional investigation that was conducted after the charges were filed, we concluded that the totality of the evidence, including eyewitness accounts, was insufficient to meet our burden of proof and we are unable to move forward with the prosecution of this case,” Simonton said….
        The only person that said he COULDN’T be the shooter was Harris’ attorney who claimed to have uncovered a growing amount of evidence to show that Harris could not have been the shooter and that the witness identifications weren’t credible…. Nowhere in anything I’ve read has any cop said he couldn’t be the shooter, dude sat in County lockup for three years if cops could put him somewhere else on camera he would have been out a long time ago…

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Based on raw data, I’d say that every murderer in Chiraq gets to kill at least six people before he’s imprisoned. So Maurice Harris has two to go.

    1. avatar Sean Michael Bearly says:

      You didn’t base your comment on raw data and probably don’t know what raw data is. If you don’t have facts, it’s OK to make shit up. But don’t say the made up shit is based on data.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        number of occurences versus number of convictions is raw data. you want him to look it up for you? or will you be at kim swamp fox’s party?

  10. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    Forget it Jake.. It’s Chi Town….

  11. avatar Montana Actual says:

    “Creepy ass cracker”

    Ring any bells?

    1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

      Ghost of Trayvon??

    2. avatar The grid says:

      He sounded like a creepy ass cracker…

      That was hilarious, I almost cried the first time I heard it, the stupidity of some people!

    3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      the name quasimoto rings a bell.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    Unreliable or uncooperative witnesses?

    I suppose it’s also possible that they got the wrong guy. Policing in Chicago has been on life support for years.

    1. avatar ChoseDeath says:

      Oh yes, I would absolutely believe either of those scenarios.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        The “other” possibility…. Could it just maybe, POSSIBLY, might have been that the “witnesses” got a late night night phone call or pictures of their kids playing, or even a photo of them sleeping in their own bed? Sounds like “Old School” Mob stuff and nothing like that could EVER happen in Chiraq… But it might cause selective memory lapses concerning key events….

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Relatives of the dead won’t get the wrong guy. He’s got about a week to live.

    3. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Of course there were no witnesses. Snitches get stitches at best, and are dead at worst.

      And as for the late night phone call or photos, hood rats aren’t that subtle and wouldn’t waste their time trying. A beating combined with the threat of more if they say anything to the authorities.

  13. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    Imagine the fact that those dudes who got killed had at LEAST 2 people that had a serous motive to kill them. The one that did and the guy they arrested and talk about in this article.

  14. avatar Montana Actual says:

    The police woman’s face in the picture says it all. She’s like: “Yea, I am from the same hood as you guys and nobody in my family is as stupid as anyone in yours”. Boom goes the dynamite.

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