Second man charged with 2009 murder of man found shot to death in trunk

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A second man has been charged with the murder of a Mississippi man found shot to death in the trunk of a car on the South Side more than six years ago.

Walter Hill, 48, of Dolton, is charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with the murder of Tracey Hughes, authorities said.

Hughes made four “frantic” 911 calls in the early morning hours of Jan. 11, 2009, telling an operator he was trapped in the trunk of a moving car and asking authorities to trace his call, prosecutors said.

He told the 911 operator that Walter Hill and Hill’s cousin David Johnson took him, and that he had been robbed and shot three times, prosecutors said.

Hughes, 34, would move drugs for Hill, and all three men knew each other from Mississippi, prosecutors said.

Authorities found the car later that morning in the 8900 block of South Aberdeen, after a man walking his dog saw blood dripping from the trunk, prosecutors said.

Hughes, of Southhaven, Miss., was found dead in the trunk with gunshot wounds to the head, back and arm, authorities said.

The day before the murder, Hughes headed to Hill’s home in Dolton, driving a white Hyundai that Hill had rented the month before, prosecutors claim.

Hughes picked up a friend and headed to the Horseshoe Casino, where cameras inside caught Hughes “flashing a large amount of cash” at gambling tables, prosecutors said.

He was last seen driving Hill’s rental car later that night, prosecutors said. Hill later arranged for someone to pick the vehicle up from an oasis on I-80 and return it to Midway Airport.

The day of the murder, Johnson and Hill made several phone calls to each other, and witnesses saw Johnson at Hill’s house that night and into the early morning hours right before the kidnapping and murder, prosecutors said.

A relative also told police that, on the day before the slaying, Hill mentioned Hughes having stolen $30,000 from his house, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also claim that after the murder, Hill contacted Hughes’ wife and told her to pick up some of his duffel bags from his home, prosecutors said. Authorities later found more of the victim’s property during a search of the residence.

An arrest warrant was issued for Hill in February, and he was arrested Monday in Flossmoor by the U.S. Marshal Great Lakes Task Force, prosecutors said. Judge Donald Panarese ordered him held on a $1 million bond in court Tuesday.

His public defender said in court Tuesday that he has three kids and lives in Dolton with his wife, a nurse, and works at a trucking company.

His cousin, Johnson, 41, also of Dolton, was previously charged with first-degree murder and ordered held on a $1 million bond in February, according to court records.


David Johnson

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