COOK COUNTY - A Melrose Park man is facing federal prison time for violating probation after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office decided he acted in self-defense when he shot another man last September in the west suburb and didn’t charge him.
Kevin Delaney, 31, admitted he shot and wounded the man Sept. 29.
Cook County prosecutors classified Delaney and the wounded man as "mutual combatants" and didn’t charge either.
But federal prosecutors said in court Tuesday that Delaney — who was on probation for a federal gun conviction — violated the terms of his release by having a gun.
"The problem was he had a gun that led to a gun fight," Assistant U.S. Attorney Cornelius Vanderburg said at a hearing Tuesday.
Possession of a gun by a felon is a federal and state crime, Vanderburg said.
During the hearing, Delaney admitted having the gun.
Now, he faces eight months to two years in prison when U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman sentences him March 15 for the probation violation.
Delaney had pleaded guilty in 2019 to selling a .38-caliber revolver through an intermediary to a federal informant on the South Side. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
"Over the past few years, the Chicagoland area has been subjected to devastating firearm violence," federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo in that case. "The consistent application of federal law meant to curb this violence by preventing felons and other prohibited persons from possessing firearms is necessary to deter this violence."
Foxx faced criticism last year when her office didn’t charge anyone in an Oct. 1 shootout in Austin that left a man dead and at least two other people wounded. The police said gang members jumped out of a car and shot into a home in the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue and that people inside fired back.
Prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone in that case. The police said prosecutors declined to file charges because the shootout involved mutual combatants.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot blasted Foxx over that decision, saying, "We can’t live in a world where there’s no accountability."
Then, last month, Foxx’s office filed charges accusing a man of possessing two handguns during that shootout. Lightfoot appeared with Foxx and police Supt. David Brown at a news conference to announce the charges.