April 12, 2017 / 9:54 PM / 3 years ago

Suspect charged in Illinois judge's murder; not believed to have acted alone

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of an Illinois judge shot outside his home on Chicago’s South Side this week in what police believe was a targeted robbery, officials said on Wednesday.

Joshua Smith, 37, was charged with the murder of Raymond Myles, who was killed early on Monday, police said. A woman was also wounded in the incident, but is expected to recover fully.

Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said police were still interviewing multiple people about the killing and the case remained open.

“The motive of this crime is robbery, which we do not believe was random, nor do we believe Smith acted alone,” she said at a news conference.

Myles, 66, was an associate judge in Cook County Circuit Court’s Criminal Division. Cook County includes Chicago, the third-largest U.S. city.

The incident started when a woman exited Myles’ home and encountered a man with a gun at around 5 a.m., police have said.

Words were exchanged and the man then fired, hitting the woman once. Hearing the gunshots, Myles came out of the house and was shot multiple times.

Staples credited surveillance cameras in the area with helping police identify the vehicle believed to be the getaway car.

Police on Tuesday stopped the vehicle, which had different front and rear license plates. They believe its owner was not connected to the murder, Staples said.

Smith was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed robbery, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

A police spokeswoman had no information about whether Smith had an attorney.

Staples said more details could emerge when Smith appears in bond court on Thursday morning. Smith was convicted of armed robbery with a firearm in 2003 and served six years in prison, she said.

Shell casings recovered from the scene showed that the weapon was also used in a January robbery in which a person was wounded, Staples said. There was no indication of any relation between that incident and Myles’ shooting, she added.

Myles was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1999, according to a statement from court, and served in the criminal division starting in 2009.

Additional reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler

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