No bail for pair charged with gunning down man in Austin last summer

Bail was denied Friday for two 20-year-old men charged in connection with a fatal shooting last summer in Austin on the West Side.

Romeo Langston and Jahuan Smith are each charged with first-degree murder for the Aug. 4, 2019, killing of Deon Nelson, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

That night, Nelson and his girlfriend, both 21, were planning to meet up with Langston, prosecutors said. Nelson and Langston met at North Lockwood and West Wabansia avenues.

At one point during the meeting Smith, who was with a group of people nearby, approached them, prosecutors said. Nelson’s girlfriend recognized him since he dated one of her relatives in the past. Nelson told his girlfriend that he believed Smith had shot him in January 2018.

After the encounter, the couple pulled into a lot at a gas station at Central and Bloomingdale avenues, prosecutors said. Nelson, worried they were being followed, left the lot without getting gas and turned onto Bloomingdale.

Nelson stopped at a red light at the intersection with Central Avenue and started a Facebook Live stream, prosecutors said. As he recorded, Langston and Smith ran up and fired shots into the car.

Nelson was struck multiple times, and bullets grazed his girlfriend, prosecutors said. He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The woman was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Gunfire could be heard on the lie streamed video, along with Nelson and his girlfriend’s reactions, prosecutors said. Surveillance video also captured the incident.

Investigators found multiple shell casings at the scene, prosecutors said. Nelson’s girlfriend later identified Smith and Langston in photos.

Cell phone records show Langston and Smith were both near the original meeting spot just before the shooting, prosecutors said. Investigators also recovered several “incriminating” Facebook messages in the weeks following the shooting.

Langston was on parole in an armed robbery case at the time of the shooting, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the 2014 case and released on parole in May 2019.

Smith is currently facing felony unlawful use of a weapon charges in another case from October 2019, according to Cook County court records.

Both men are expected to appear in court again in the murder case July 30.