The 19-year-old parolee accused of killing a Chicago police officer and a former city official shot both men in the head once, then shot them again after he saw one of them move, prosecutors said Tuesday.
During a court hearing for the suspect, Timothy Herring, prosecutors disclosed the first details of their case against him in the Nov. 26 slayings of Michael Flisk, a 46-year-old police evidence technician, and 44-year-old Stephen Peters, a former Chicago Housing Authority official.
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A judge ordered Herring, who is charged with first degree murder, to be held without bail.
It was the burglary of a car belonging to Peters that brought Flisk to Peters' home on the city's southeast side. With Peters watching, Flisk photographed the scene and lifted fingerprints.
Prosecutors said Herring walked into the garage, announcing to the two men that he knew who was responsible for the burglary. But Peters told him that his help wouldn't be necessary, that Flisk had found fingerprints that would lead police to whoever had broken into his car.
But what Peters could not have known was that Herring was the burglar and the fingerprints were his, said prosecutors, who contend he killed the two men to avoid another conviction and prison sentence.
"The defendant then walked away and quickly pulled out a gun and shot both Officer Flisk and Stephen Peters in the head," said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez after the hearing.
With the two men lying on the ground, Herring, who lived across the alley, grabbed a garbage can he'd previously loaded with stolen items and dragged it down the alley. Herring spotted Peters moving, stopped what he was doing and returned to the garage, where he shot each man in the head again, Alvarez said.
Alvarez said that investigators located people who told them that Herring had admitted to the slayings and one person who said that months ago Herring had said he wanted to steal Peters' stereo.
Police Supt. Jody Weis, who has been frustrated about the unwillingness of the pubic to come forward with information about violent crimes, including the slayings of some police officers in recent months, praised the public in this case.
"We had people come forward willingly, courageously and offer this information to us," Weis said. "We had the help of the community this time."
Herring was paroled earlier this year after serving half of a sux-year prison sentence for a 2007 armed robbery of a liquor store. At the time of the slayings, he was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet because of a parole violation.
Alvarez declined to say whether the bracelet was activated or discuss whether it didn't signal he had left home because of the proximity of the crime to his house.
Another man, Timothy Willis, was charged with felony obstruction of justice and unlawful use of a weapon. Authorities say he took from Herring a box he knew contained the murder weapon and braids of Herring's hair that Herring had cut off to change his appearance.
Willis was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bail at Tuesday's hearing. The box had not been recovered, Alvarez said.
Herring was represented at the hearing by the county's public defender's office. The attorney who appeared with Herring did not immediately return a call for comment after the hearing.