Eight-Time Felon Released On Electronic Monitoring In Chicago Gun Case

(Amber Ross/Yakima Police Department via AP)

It’s going to be hard for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to blame Indiana’s gun laws for this criminal justice fail, but I have no doubt she’ll give it her best shot. Khalil Marbley may not be a household name in Chicago, but he’s well known to the court system and local police, who’ve repeatedly dealt with him over the past few years. Marbley was back in the Cook County courthouse this week for a bond hearing on charges of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated assault on a peace officer, and ended up receiving a relatively low bond despite his extensive criminal history.

“He appears to be some sort of a flight risk based upon the [previous] escape charges,” Judge Charles Beach said while setting bail for Khalil Marbley after prosecutors laid out their latest allegations against him in bond court.

… After hearing about Marbley’s criminal record — convictions for escape in 2018 and 2014, firearm possession in 2018, and more — Beach ordered him to pay a $7,500 deposit to get out of jail. And, as we’ve mentioned, Beach said he’ll have to go onto electronic monitoring.

Marbley’s first escape conviction came in 2014 after he stopped showing up for court while on electronic monitoring for manufacture-delivery of cocaine.

Two years later, Marbley was handcuffed when he ran away from an Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) agent who was trying to place him into a prison vehicle.

Shortly after that, cops, sheriffs, and parole agents went to his home. Marbley saw them, made eye contact, and ran. He was found hiding under a pile of clothing on a porch.

Prosecutors charged him with escape and theft of the handcuffs he was wearing when he escaped from IDOC custody. He eventually received a two-year sentence.

As the website CWB Chicago reports, Marbley’s encounters with police continued in 2018, when he was arrested and charged with a litany of offenses, including armed habitual criminal, possession of a weapon while on parole, possession of cocaine, two felony counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, and a parole violation. Amazingly, Marbley’s bond was set at just $5,000, and he was sent home on electronic monitoring.

However, when deputies visited Marbley’s apartment a couple of weeks later, he allegedly jumped off a balcony and took off running, once again managing to escape the terms of his bond with little consequence.

Given Marbley’s extensive run-ins with (and run-aways from) the law, you might think that it would be appropriate to keep him in custody until his trial on the current gun and assault charges. Instead, a judge has once again allowed Marbley to leave the jail on electronic monitoring while his latest case winds its way through the court system.

As for Mayor Lightfoot, she’s currently exhibiting her own soft-on-crime tendencies by refusing to call for the resignation of Chicago Alderwoman Carrie Austin, who’s been indicted by federal officials on bribery charges. In fact, Lightfoot isn’t even calling for Austin to step down from the city council’s Contracting Oversight and Equity Committee, despite some troubling revelations that raise serious questions about the committee’s spending.

The committee led by Austin is poised to convene a subject-matter hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday to consider Lightfoot’s proposal to extend the city’s program that earmarks a portion of city contracts for firms owned by Black, Latino and Asian Chicagoans as well as women for an additional six years. It will be the panel’s first meeting in more than a year.

Lightfoot unveiled her proposal just weeks before Austin was indicted on charges of bribery and lying to federal officials.

Austin pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Austin scheduled the hearing approximately 24 hours after WTTW News reported that the committee spent $191,500 in 2020, while meeting just three times without advancing a single piece of substantive legislation or pressing officials on how the city can do a better job ensuring lucrative contracts can benefit firms owned by women or Black, Latino or Asian Chicagoans.

Even though the committee’s budget for 2021 is $191,500, it has not met since July 2020, according to city records.

Your tax dollars at work, Chicagoans (or not, as the case may be). I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Lightfoot to somehow try to blame the endemic corruption and graft in city politics on legal gun owners too.