Martez Staples charged with murder in North Lawndale shooting death of Willie Bush

Martez Staples / Photo from Chicago Police

Chicago Sun-Times

A West Side man was ordered held on $1 million bond Friday for a shooting that claimed the life of a 49-year-old man and left two other people injured.

Martez Staples shot the three people on Aug. 17, 2013, after asking a group sitting on a porch in the 1200 block of South Lawndale Avenue if they knew who beat up Staples’ uncle in a nearby alley, prosecutors said.

The group on the porch said they knew nothing about the beating, prompting someone in Staples’ group to say, “f– them,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said.

Staples and two others then opened fire, Santini said.

Willie Bush, 49, was shot 13 times and died three days later, Santini said.

Another man was shot nine but survived. A teenager was also shot in his abdomen and survived, authorities said.

Bush worked as a contractor boarding up and cleaning abandoned buildings, friend Cleveland Smith said.

Willie Bush / Submitted photo

Willie Bush / Submitted photo

“I’ve never seen him, in the 20-something years that I knew him, without a smile or a laugh,” Smith said. “He was always happy.”

During the investigation, detectives learned from one of the victims that Staples was one of the gunmen, Santini said.

Staples, 26, of the 1200 block of South St. Louis Avenue, was arrested this week. He is a member of the Vice Lords street gang, according to a police report.

Staples has previous convictions for armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

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