Third man charged with botched 2014 home invasion that left Desmond Gunawardana and an accomplice dead

Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Brandon Perkins | Chicago Police

Brandon Perkins | Chicago Police

A Tennessee man is the third person charged in connection with a botched 2014 home invasion in Norwood Park that left homeowner Desmond Gunawardana, and their alleged accomplice Miran Cerimagic, dead.

Brandon Perkins, 22, was arrested on a first-degree murder warrant Wednesday for the Sept. 5, 2014, incident in the 5800 block of North Mobile, according to Chicago Police. Brittney Mitchell, 19; and 23-year-old Orhan Cerimagic have been held without bond on murder charges since then, Homicide Watch Chicago reported previously.

Mitchell thought an acquaintance, later identified as the 35-year-old Gunawardana, had a large stash of drugs at his home and schemed to steal them along with Perkins, Orhan Cerimagic and his 20-year-old brother Miran, prosecutors said at Mitchell’s bond hearing in the days after the attack.

Orhan Cerimagic (left) and Brittney Mitchell | Cook County sheriff’s office

Orhan Cerimagic (left) and Brittney Mitchell | Cook County sheriff’s office

She arranged to meet Gunawardana at the home about 10 p.m. and went inside while the other three waited in a car driven by Orhan Cerimagic about a block away, prosecutors said. Mitchell unlocked the back door and texted the others once she had done so, prosecutors said.

Miran Cerimagic and Perkins entered the home with a gun and zip ties that they planned to use to restrain Gunawardana, prosecutors said.

Once inside, a tussle ensued as Miran Cerimagic and Gunawardana grabbed knives and stabbed each other repeatedly, prosecutors said. The resident was stabbed in the neck and pronounced dead at the scene after authorities were called to the home about 11:30 p.m. for a well-being check, authorities said.

The others had ran back to the car and took Miran Cerimagic to Swedish Covenant Hospital, where he later died of his stab wounds, authorities said. He lived in the 6200 block of North Hoyne, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Both the deaths were ruled homicides.

Mitchell initially told police and hospital staff that Miran Cerimagic had been stabbed during a cellphone robbery, but later admitted to taking part in the break-in when detectives couldn’t confirm her story, prosecutors said.

The surviving trio were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion, police said.

Perkins was arrested Wednesday with the help of U.S. Marshals in his hometown of Ridgely, Tennessee, and ordered held without bond at a Saturday hearing, according to Cook County Circuit Court records. He has another court date Monday.

Mitchell, of the 4700 block of North Lamon, is due back in court Wednesday. Orhan Cerimagic, who lived with his brother on Hoyne, has a status hearing March 4.

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