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Charges upgraded to murder in death of 61-year-old Rogers Park man

A man has been charged with murder for fatally beating his friend during an argument over money in an elevator in a Rogers Park apartment building on the North Side.

Phalyon McFarthing, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery for the death of 61-year-old Algie Ferguson, authorities said.

McFarthing and Ferguson were friends who had known each other for several years, Assistant State’s Attorney April Gonzales said at a bond hearing Thursday.

About 11:45 p.m. Jan. 23, the two men got into an argument in an elevator in Ferguson’s apartment building in the 6800 block of North Sheridan Road, Gonzales said.

When officers responded, they found McFarthing punching Ferguson in the elevater on the fifth floor while rifling through his pockets, Gonzales said. Ferguson’s pants and underwear were down by his knees.

A few hours earlier, McFarthing visited Ferguson and Ferguson’s girlfriend in their apartment in the same building, Gonzales said. The three spent some time together before Ferguson asked McFarthing if he could borrow $20.

McFarthing agreed to loan Ferguson the money, but said he would have to get it from his storage locker, Gonzales said. The two men left the apartment together.

About 45 minutes later, Ferguson’s girlfriend called him and asked where he was. Ferguson said he was in the building and about to get on the elevator.

Moments later, McFarthing entered the woman’s apartment with bloody hands and threatening to kill her, Gonzales said. The building manager heard the fight and called 911.

Ferguson was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston suffering significant brain trauma, a broken nose, and anal trauma; and part of his left ear was missing, Gonzales said. He died at the hospital at 6:43 p.m. Jan. 29. An autopsy found that he died from complications from multiple injuries sustained during an assault, and his death was ruled a homicide.

McFarthing admitted to punching Ferguson, stomping on his head, and shoving a pair of eyeglasses into his anus, Gonzales said.

McFarthing, of the 1500 block of West Pratt Boulevard, is being held without bond at the Cook County Jail.