BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
Three people leaning against a car outside a trendy River North nightclub sparked a dispute that left one of the men dead and another seriously wounded this month, prosecutors said.
Javon Almond, Deandre Hughes, Bianca Young and fourth person left the Bodi nightclub about 3:50 a.m. Aug. 3 and found Martrell Ross and two acquaintances leaning against the group’s white car in the 800 block of North Orleans Street, said Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack.
The nightclub had hosted a Lollapalooza after-party for rapper Nas, authorities said.
Young, 23, initiated an argument between the two groups that escalated into a fight and Ross, 32, got punched and knocked into the middle of the street, Mack said.
Almond, 17, Young and their still uncharged acquaintance fled in the car, but Hughes, 19, continued to taunt the rival group, Mack said.
The car came back to pick up Hughes, but instead of getting inside he opened the back door and remained there for a moment. Almond, Hughes and the acquaintance then go out of the car with guns and chased Ross into a nearby alley, Mack said.
The acquaintance shot Ross until he fell to the ground, Mack said. Almond then went up to the Ross as he lay in the alley and shot him numerous times, Mack said.
Ross, of the 300 block of South Mozart Street, was shot eight times and died at the scene, authorities said.
Ross’ 21-year-old acquaintance ran to help, but Hughes hit him from behind then shot him the back, side, forearm and foot, Mack said.
After the shootings, Young drove the car to a nearby Circle K gas station, where she picked up the three attackers, Mack said.
Ross’ uncle, Curits Gross Sr., said his nephew enjoyed rap music and dancing. Court records indicate Ross was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a 2000 attempted murder conviction and six years in prison for a 2007 drug conspiracy conviction.
The argument and fight were recorded on the club’s surveillance camera, Mack said. Police also recovered a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with Almond’s palm print, he added.
The surviving victim identified Hughes in a photo array as the person who shot him and identified Young as being the woman who started the argument, Mack said. A witness also identified all three in a physical lineup.
All three were arrested Saturday, authorities said. Hughes and Young, of the 100 block of North Laporte Avenue, were each charged with murder and attempted murder, police said. Almond, of the 4000 block of West Maypole Avenue, was just charged with murder, authorities said.
Almond admitted guilt to two separate drug charges as a juvenile, Mack said. He lives with his parents and is a student at Manley Career Academy High School, according to a public defender.
Hughes was convinced of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2013 and was sentenced to one year in prison, Mack said. Hughes lives with his uncle and cares for his younger brother while working towards getting his GED, the public defender said.
Young was wanted on a warrant for a pending 2008 retail theft charge in the north suburbs, Mack said. Young attended Sullivan High School through sophomore year and is currently working for a temp agency while trying to get her GED, said the public defender.
Young has one child and lives with her 82-year-old grandfather, who she cares for, the public defender said.
On Monday, Judge Peggy Chiampas denied bond for Almond and Hughes, and ordered Young $1M bond for the murder and raised her bond on an unrelated retail theft case.
All three will be back in court Sept. 12.
— Contributing: Brian Slodysko