SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A Cook County jury on Tuesday found a man guilty of shooting Chicago Police officer David Blake to death in a South Side alley in 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The jury also found Bernard Williams guilty of armed robbery.
During five days of testimony, prosecutors built their case that Blake was lured to the alley by Williams, then 18, the younger brother of Blake’s girlfriend. The plan, prosecutors said, was to kill Blake, a veteran SWAT officer, and raid a gun safe at his house.
“David has a nice collection (of guns). He welcomed Bernard Williams into his home, (showed him) his possessions, he knew the young man was interested in them,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Brassil told the jury in his closing argument, as Brassil stood in front of a monitor showing a photo of Blake in his football uniform for the CPD’s Enforcers team.
“That was (Blake’s) downfall.”
Williams sat placidly at a table beside his lawyers, with his family filling the front row of the courtroom gallery, as they had each day of the trial. On the opposite side of the aisle, a dozen police officers, most wearing the green fatigues-style SWAT uniforms, nodded along as Brassil outlined the case against Williams.
Physical evidence against Williams was all but non-existent: Investigators never recovered the murder weapon, nor the keys Williams allegedly stole, nor any of the clothing he wore the night of the killing.
But several of Williams’ friends testified that Williams had tried to recruit them to help in the murder and robbery, and then confessed after killing Blake. Tyrone “T.J.” Jerry said Williams ran to Jerry’s house near the shooting scene after killing Blake and said, “I did it! I did it,” and described shooting Blake in the face and taking his keys from the Durango.
But defense lawyers claimed Williams and his friends had been coached by detectives during the hours-long interrogations, and that Williams himself had spent 34 hours with police without a lawyer when he gave his statement.
“Nothing ties him to the crime scene. They have no evidence that he was there,” Assistant Public Defender Crystal Carbellos said in her closing. “There’s no forensic evidence that put him there, or implicated him at all. No evidence. Just some words that could be hollow and shallow.”