Thomas Wortham III opened fire and gunned down a man and seriously injured another while trying to protect his namesake son, who was killed in botched armed robbery on the South Side.
On Thursday night, the retired Chicago Police sergeant found some solace after the lookouts in the May 19, 2010, crime were convicted of murdering Thomas Wortham IV — also a Chicago Police officer.
“We wanted to see justice for our son,” Wortham III said after two separate juries found Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor guilty.
McGee, 25, and Taylor, 34, also were onvicted in the murder of their cohort Brian Floyd, 20, whom the elder Wortham shot outside his home at 85th Street and Martin Luther King Drive.
Floyd’s cousin, Marcus, also was wounded but survived. Marcus Floyd, now 23, is awaiting trial.
On Thursday, Wortham III told reporters that his only son was caring and helpful.
“He loved everybody and did his best. I want people to remember that. . . . He always gave back and would help anyone at anytime. That’s who he was,” he said.
McGee and Taylor, who face mandatory life in prison, were acquitted on attempted murder charges.
Taylor also was cleared of aggravated discharge of a firearm, but McGee’s jury convicted him on that charge.
Earlier Thursday, Cook County prosecutors described how the four men preyed on the younger Wortham after the 30-year-old visited his parents’ home that spring night.
The men had set their sights on stealing Wortham’s Yamaha motorcycle and McGee and Taylor agreed to keep watch from Brian Floyd’s red Pontiac as the Floyds accosted Wortham IV with their guns drawn, Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Jo Murtaugh said.
Wortham IV identified himself as an officer before a bullet from Brian Floyd’s weapon pierced his abdomen.
He was then dragged to a nearby alley by the Pontiac that Taylor drove.
Hearing the commotion, the elder Wortham came out and ended up firing on the Floyds with his revolver and his son’s service weapon.
Wortham III later identified McGee and Taylor.
The pair’s attorneys maintained that their clients were not with the Floyds the night of the murder, suggesting that Wortham III was too distraught to identify the men who were in the getaway vehicle.
“What you have is a chaotic situation, which leads to confusion, which leads to misidentification,” said Sandra Parris, Taylor’s attorney.
“People make mistakes. Evidence does not,” McGee’s attorney Debra Niesen said, arguing that her client didn’t fire toward Wortham III during the shootout as prosecutors suggested.
The Floyds were solely responsible for the murder of the younger Wortham, the defense attorneys said.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Deno brushed off that theory.
“They [the Floyds] had help,” he said. “They didn’t do it alone.”
Thomas Wortham III after the second guilty verdict was read in the murder of his namesake Chicago Police officer son