A 30-year-old Chicago man facing sentencing on federal drug trafficking charges may again have to deal with murder charges involving the deaths of an off-duty Chicago police officer and a woman companion back in 2008. While he has already been acquitted of those charges, prosecutors have said they plan to introduce evidence at his sentencing on six narcotics trafficking counts that he is responsible for those deaths.
The two victims were allegedly shot during a robbery in the early morning hours of August 13, 2008 while sitting inside the off-duty officer’s SUV. Prosecutors charged the Chicago man after seizing a vehicle he owned which matched the description given by the off-duty officer after he was shot.
The narcotics trafficking conviction could land the Chicago man in prison for as much as 130 years. Prosecutors hope the judge in the case will sharply boost the sentence if they are able to convince him that it is more likely than not-a lesser standard of proof than that used in providing criminal charges-that he committed the double murder.
Under federal sentencing rules, judges are permitted to consider a defendant’s past behavior-good or back-in weighing how much prison time to impose. In this case, prosecutors are hoping to convince the judge
According to the man’s attorney, the evidence-if it convinces the judge-could mean the difference between the Chicago man getting out of prison at a reasonably young age or remaining in there for the rest of his life. His attorney is seeking to block the murder evidence.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Prosecutors hope 2008 killings stiffen drug dealer’s sentence,” Annie Sweeny, September 20, 2012.