Three charged in Jefferson Park beating death of Joseph Kaman

Jake Tate / Photo from Chicago Police

Jake Tate / Photo from Chicago Police

Chicago Sun-Times

A 45-year-old homeless man was strangled, beaten and sodomized by three other vagrants because one of the attackers thought he had stolen his cell phone, prosecutors said Friday.

After Joseph Kaman was repeatedly stomped on, he was thrown into a Dumpster on the Northwest Side sometime between Monday night and early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

His badly injured body was discovered by a resident the next day.

The deadly attack was initiated after 27-year-old Jake Tate accused Kamen of stealing his mobile phone, Assistant State’s Attorney Colleen Rogers said.

Tate vowed to beat and sodomize Kaman and was later overheard telling his friend Todd Cooper how he was going to stomp on Kaman’s face, Rogers said.

When Cooper later saw Kaman sleeping in the doorway of an alley in the 4800 block of North Lipps Avenue he summoned Tate and together the pair dragged Kaman’s body into an alley, Rogers said.

There, as Cooper watched, Tate allegedly kicked Kaman’s head, face and body until Kamen wasn’t moving.

Cooper and Tate walked a few feet away to talk to their other pal, Daniel Morris, when Kaman tried getting up and set off motion sensor lights in the alley, Rogers said.

Todd Cooper / Photo from Chicago Police

Todd Cooper / Photo from Chicago Police

Upon seeing the lights activated, the trio charged at Kaman and beat him up together, Rogers said.

This time, Cooper, 35, joined Tate in kicking and punching Kaman, Rogers said.

Morris, 20, allegedly punched, choked and sat on Kaman.

That’s when Tate pulled down Kaman’s pants and sodomized him with a stick, Rogers said.

The three men pulled a Dumpster into the alley, threw Kaman inside and then rolled the Dumpster back to its original location, Rogers said.

But they weren’t done, prosecutors said.

Morris climbed in and allegedly stomped on Kaman some more and hit his head and body with a large rock or brick.

The three men then fled, taking Kaman’s backpack with them, Rogers said.

The entire beating was captured on surveillance video from a nearby business and Morris and Cooper allegedly identified themselves on tape and admitted to their roles in the murder.

Morris, who wore a Bears jersey in court Friday, was apprehended this week when police questioned him about an armed robbery.

“I know this is not about the robbery. I know this is about the body in the Dumpster. I was there,” a police report said Morris told officers.

Morris banged his head on the squad car several times as officers arrested him, the report said.

Tate was arrested near the Jefferson Park Transit Center and Cooper was arrested at Wilbur Wright College, a school he frequently visits, their police reports said.

Daniel Morris / Photo from Chicago Police

Daniel Morris / Photo from Chicago Police

Prosecutors said the three men were homeless but an assistant public defender said Cooper lives with his father.

The former U.S. Marine’s last known address was in Harwood Heights.

Cooper is bipolar and has had past jobs driving a taxi and digging ditches, the assistant public defender said.

Mooris and Tate are suicidal and take medication, the defense attorney said.

Tate, who has several tattoos including one that reads “100% white,” is a single father and works as a mover.

His last known address was in the 4900 block of West Argyle Street.

Morris’ last lived in Bolingbrook, court records show.

Tate has felony convictions for burglary and aggravated battery.

Morris has three misdemeanor battery convictions and Cooper has a disorderly conduct conviction.

Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered the three men held in lieu of $2 million bond Friday.

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