Winner of $25 million verdict charged in shooting

SHARE Winner of $25 million verdict charged in shooting
SHARE Winner of $25 million verdict charged in shooting

A man who won a $25 million jury verdict after his murder conviction was overturned in 2009 has been arrested again for allegedly shooting a man and speeding away from the police in a luxury car.

Thaddeus “TJ” Jimenez, 36, was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday with aggravated battery, possession of a gun by a street gang and felon, and reckless driving, among other charges, Chicago Police said.

Jimenez is accused in police reports of shooting a 33-year-old man in the legs at about 11:15 a.m. Monday in the 3500 block of West Belle Plaine in the Albany Park neighborhood.

The man was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with broken femurs, police records show.

After the shooting, Jimenez allegedly fled in a 2013 Mercedes Benz, police said. Officers spotted Jimenez speeding and chased him through the Northwest Side to the 3800 block of North St. Louis, where he allegedly jumped from the car with a .380-caliber handgun.

Jimenez tossed the gun and was chased down about a block away in the 3800 block of North Elston, according to a police report.

In the lockup in the Albany Park police district, Jimenez allegedly jumped on to a concrete bench and yelled “Royal Love!”

Jimenez is an admitted member of the Simon City Royals street gang, police say.

Jose Roman, 22, was charged as being an accomplice of Jimenez in the shooting. Roman is also a gang member, police said.

Jimenez was arrested for murder in 1993 when he was just 13. His conviction was vacated in 2009 and a wrongful-conviction lawsuit against the city resulted in a $25 million award for Jimenez in 2012.

Since he’s been out of prison, Jimenez has gravitated to the gang lifestyle, according to police sources. He has spent his fortune on homes in Chicago and the suburbs.

More than a dozen vehicles, including a $130,000 Lamborghini sports car, a second Lamborghini, a Bentley convertible and other expensive vehicles are registered in his name.

In a profile of Jimenez in the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year, his lawyer Scott Frankel said his client was trying to become a law-abiding citizen, despite two felony drug convictions since he was released from prison in 2009.

“He was raised, essentially, by the penitentiary system, which, I think, is the equivalent to being raised by wolves,” Frankel said in a 2012 court hearing for Jimenez.

Jimenez had served 16 years in prison on the murder conviction that was later overturned.

He is awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. He drove into a tree in 2013 and a female passenger was left with skull and facial fractures, prosecutors said.

The man shot on Monday is also a felon, with convictions on gun and drug charges, court records show.

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