Man charged in murder of Chicago judge

PHOTO: Cook County, Illinois, criminal court Judge Raymond Myles was murdered outside his Chicago home, April 10, 2017.PlayCook County Chief Judge's Office via WLS
WATCH Man charged in murder of Chicago judge

A suspect has been charged in connection with the murder of Cook County, Illinois, criminal court Judge Raymond Myles, who was shot dead outside his home on the city's South Side early Monday, police said.

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Joshua Smith, 37, has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and obstruction of justice, said Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples in a press conference Wednesday. Smith was previously been convicted of armed robbery in 2003 and served a six-year sentence, Staples said.

Myles was the victim of a "targeted robbery," Staples said. An investigation into the shell casings found at the scene indicate that the same gun used to kill Myles that was used in an armed robbery in January in which the victim was shot nonfatally, Staples said. There is no indication that the incidents were related, but Staples said they highlight the problem that illegal guns are being used "over and over to cause havoc" in the Chicago community.

Security cameras installed at neighborhood homes played a "crucial role" in helping police identify a vehicle involved in the incident, Staples said, recommending that all homeowners add the technology to their homes since it played a "very instrumental role" in helping detectives get a head start on the case.

Once detectives located a vehicle that matched the one seen in surveillance footage, they noticed that the plates had been changed "to hinder the investigation," Staples said. But, authorities later noticed that the front and rear plates were different, she said, and they began questioning individuals.

The owner of the car is not believed to be involved in the incident, Staples said.

Smith was arrested after he drove himself to the police station for questioning, Staples said.

A bond hearing is set for Thursday, Staples said. It's unclear whether Smith has a lawyer.

The investigation into the case continues, police said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a police spokesperson told ABC News the police "have made considerable progress and are continuing to work around the clock" as they investigate the case. The spokesperson said one person of interest was being questioned and that authorities were working "to begin to identify potential persons of interest to question."

Authorities also collected evidence and reviewed surveillance video from the neighborhood, the spokesperson said.

PHOTO: Authorities gather on a residential street on the South Side of Chicago, April 10, 2017, after Cook County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles was shot to death outside his home. Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune via AP
Authorities gather on a residential street on the South Side of Chicago, April 10, 2017, after Cook County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles was shot to death outside his home.

A woman, described by police as a "close associate" of Myles, was also shot that morning. She walked out of his home before him, exchanged words with the gunman, was shot once and suffered a nonlife-threatening injury, Staples said at a news conference Monday.

Myles, 66, heard the commotion and the gunshot, went outside to investigate, exchanged words with the gunman and was shot multiple times, Staples said. The suspect then fled on foot, the injured woman told police.

PHOTO: An investigator opens the door of a vehicle outside a home on the South Side of Chicago, April 10, 2017, after Cook County Circuit Court Raymond Myles was shot to death outside his home.Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune via AP
An investigator opens the door of a vehicle outside a home on the South Side of Chicago, April 10, 2017, after Cook County Circuit Court Raymond Myles was shot to death outside his home.

Staples said Monday that police do not believe the injured woman knows the gunman.

According to authorities, neighbors said Myles and the woman were known to go for early-morning workouts, so it was not unusual for them to be up before dawn.

Staples said Monday that police were reviewing surveillance recordings, investigating motives and looking into a "multitude" of possible leads.

Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said in a statement Monday, "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," Evans said.

First Deputy Superintendent of Police Kevin Navarro called Myles' death "another senseless act of violence."

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