Two men get 10 years in prison for fatal police chase and shooting

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Two men charged in connection with a fatal police chase and shooting that left their 17-year-old friend dead in 2013 have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Akeem Clarke, 24; and Martel Odum, 25, pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawful vehicular invasion on Monday, according to Cook County court records.

Frederick Chatmen, 17, stole a muscle car on Jan. 7, 2013, on the South Side after he, Clarke and Odum beat a man with whom they were making a cell phone deal, prosecutors said.

A man and woman had driven in a Dodge Charger to the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue after arranging with Clarke’s sister to buy “cell phone service.”

When the victims got to 76th and Essex, Clarke, Odum and Chatmen got into the back seat of the Charger, and Clarke’s sister, who had arranged the purchase, approached. She began yelling at the driver because she was upset about the phone she received, court records said. Clarke, who was seated behind him, grabbed that man around the neck and pulled him into the backseat.

Clarke, Odum and Chatmen then beat the man about the head and body, and demanded money from the victims, court records indicate. They took $400, a cell phone and the man’s shoes; as well as a coat, shoes, $40 and a cell phone from the woman. The woman then ran away down an alley, where someone assisted her and drove her home.

Clarke, Odum and Chatmen continued to beat the man, then pulled him out of the Dodge as witnesses approached. He was able to crawl across the street and saw the three men searching his car. Odom then crossed the street and demanded money from him again, court records said.

Chatmen then got into the Charger and drove away as the man flagged down a fire truck and ambulance. He was taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was treated for a fractured orbital bone, bruising and cuts, court records said.

Police spotted Chatmen driving the stolen Charger with out-of-state plates west on East 75th Street, Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said at the time. Two officers followed the car and approached on foot when it was boxed-in by traffic at a stop light near 75th and Jeffery.

After ordering Chatmen out of the car, police say they saw him reach for an object with his right hand before opening the door and running away, Camden said.

During the chase, Chatmen turned toward officers with what they incorrectly believed was a gun–court records said it was a shiny black object–and one of the officers, fearing his and his partner’s lives were in danger, shot him, Camden said.

Chatmen, of the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue, died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Court records said he was shot twice. An autopsy ruled his death a homicide.

The victim positively identified Clarke and Odum in a lineup, court records said. The woman identified Odom in a lineup. Clarke admitted to detectives he was there and took a phone from the victim.

Judge Stanley Sacks sentenced both Clarke and Odum to 10-year and seven-year sentences, to run concurrently, according to court records. The other charges against them were dropped.

Both will receive credit for 988 days served in jail.

Akeem Clarke | Chicago Police

Akeem Clarke | Chicago Police

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