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Man charged in murder that renews questions about justice system

Robert Rosenau, 28, was shot multiple times late Monday in the 2000 block of North Pulaski. | Network Video Productions

A 24-year-old man was charged Wednesday in a Northwest Side murder that police Supt. Eddie Johnson has pointed to as a glaring example of the need for the justice system to hold gun offenders with extensive felony records more accountable for their crimes.

Raul Martinez, 24, was taken into custody following the fatal shooting of Robert Rosenau at 10:30 p.m. Monday in the 2000 block of North Pulaski in the Hermosa neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office filed a murder charge against Martinez, who was paroled from prison in January.

He’s a member of the Orchestra Albany gang, police said. Rosenau, 28, was a member of the Latin Counts, a rival gang. Both have been arrested many times.

Raul Martinez is charged in Monday’s murder of Robert Rosenau on the Northwest Side.
Raul Martinez is charged in Monday’s murder of Robert Rosenau on the Northwest Side.

Court records show Martinez has gone in and out of prison and violated his parole conditions over and over between 2011 and 2016. He served about half of his three-year prison term in 2014 for being a felon in possession of a gun.

“The long and violent histories of those involved in this senseless case of gun violence demonstrate the problem Chicago Police officers face every day in their efforts to make our neighborhoods safer,” Johnson said.

Both men are well-known to the Chicago Police Department. They were on a computer-generated list of people deemed to be at high risk of getting shot or being a shooter.

“CPD will continue to use tools like our Strategic Subject List to identify and work with the less than 1 percent of residents who are driving the violence in Chicago, while at the same time demanding more from the criminal justice system to hold these individuals accountable, so they cannot continue to torment our communities,” Johnson said.

Several pieces of legislation are pending in the General Assembly to get tougher on gun offenders. For years, the mayor’s office, the Chicago Police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office have pushed for tougher gun laws, only to get rejected in Springfield.

Martinez was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning series on the “no-snitch” code in Chicago. He was a friend of a teenage murder victim but refused to cooperate fully with detectives trying to solve the case, the story documented.

On Monday night, officers were in the neighborhood near Pulaski and Armitage when they heard gunshots, said Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the police department. They saw Martinez running west across the street with a handgun in his left hand, Guglielmi said.

“People yelled at the officers — ‘Hey, get that guy’ — as he ran into an alley,” Guglielmi said. “He dropped a .45-caliber Rock Island handgun.” Later, the cops found the victim on the ground, shot several times.

Rosenau was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after 11 p.m. Monday, officials said. He was the 180th murder victim of 2016 compared with 122 people who were killed in 2015 through May 2.

Martinez has 36 arrests on his rap sheet, police said. He was convicted of three felonies in the past seven years.

Court records show he was found guilty of robbery in 2009 and sentenced to boot camp at the Cook County Jail.

In early 2011, he went to prison on a four-year sentence for possession of a stolen vehicle. He was paroled in August 2012.

In 2013, Martinez violated his parole when he was arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.

He was sent back to prison for three months to complete his stolen vehicle sentence as he awaited trial on the gun charge.

In January 2014, Judge Nicholas Ford sentenced him to a three-year sentence on the gun charge. He was paroled in that case in March 2015.

Then he violated his parole in that case by associating with gang members. Judge William Raines sentenced him to jail for two days.

In October 2015, he violated his parole again when he was arrested for reckless conduct and associating with gang members.

He was sent back to prison and was released on parole in January 2016.

Rosenau also was convicted of three felonies, including robbery in 2005; burglary in 2007; and aggravated battery on a police officer in 2012. He was sentenced to three years in prison for that crime, court records show.

“They were certainly on CPD’s radar,” Guglielmi said. “These guys were identified by the department as individuals who could be involved in gun violence. The violence is isolated to a very small subset of the population who go in and out the doors of the criminal justice system.”