CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - Bond was set at $1 million Thursday for a man who was charged with a fatal 2014 shooting in Bronzeville after DNA from a cigarette butt linked him to the killing.
Jeffery Freeman, 24, faces one count of first-degree murder for the Oct. 6, 2014, shooting that left 40-year-old Torrence Pickens dead, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Pickens was drinking and smoking with several people in an alley near the first block of East 44th Street, according to the state’s attorney’s office. Pickens was sitting with someone else in a car parked at the mouth of the alley.
Several members of Freeman’s gang then pulled up in a tan Buick, approached Freeman and told him to “check” Pickens for being in their territory, prosecutors said.
Freeman was handed a revolver and then walked down the alley toward the car while smoking a cigarette, prosecutors said.
Freeman tossed the cigarette butt before approaching Pickens’ vehicle on the driver’s side and shooting him multiple times, prosecutors said. Freeman then ran through the alley toward 43rd Street, and took off in the Buick, prosecutors said.
Video surveillance from a nearby apartment captured footage of the shooting, prosecutors said.
Officers recovered the cigarette butt, which was submitted to Illinois State Police for analysis and DNA testing, according to the state’s attorney’s office. DNA extracted from the cigarette butt matched a DNA sample from Freeman, prosecutors said.
A witness also identified Freeman by his street name, “Rambo,” and identified him out of a photo array as the shooter.
Freeman’s bond was set at $1 million at a court appearance Thursday, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office. His next court appearance was scheduled for July 19.