Man told detectives ‘I just get up and go kill when I feel like it’: prosecutors

SHARE Man told detectives ‘I just get up and go kill when I feel like it’: prosecutors
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A video frame of a suspect police believe killed a 58-year-old man on Nov. 20 in the Lawndale neighborhood. | Chicago police

Bail was denied on Wednesday for a West Side man accused of fatally stabbing a 58-year-old man in an apparently random attack last month in Lawndale.

After being taken into custody on Sunday, 24-year-old Darius Mayze allegedly told detectives, “I just get up and go kill when I feel like it,” Cook County prosecutors said during a bail hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Mayze faces a charge of first-degree murder for 58-year-old Ronald Rockett’s death on Nov. 20.

Darius Mayze

Darius Mayze | Chicago police

Chicago police

That afternoon, Mayze allegedly followed Rockett back to his apartment building in the 1200 block of South Christiana and repeatedly stabbed the older man, who was found dead in a pool of blood near his wheelchair in the building’s vestibule, prosecutors said.

Chicago police released surveillance footageon Friday of a suspect walking back and forth in front of Rockett’s building and then following Rockett when he arrived home.

Witnesses identified Mayze as the pacing man from the video, according to prosecutors, and he was the only person seen coming to or from the building at the time of the killing.

Mayze, who lives a block from where Rockett was stabbed, was taken into custody Sunday after being spotted in the nearby 3300 block of Roosevelt Road, wearing the same clothes as the person recorded in surveillance video, authorities said.

Prosecutors did not offer a motive for Rockett’s stabbing during Wednesday’s hearing, but said Mayze and Rockett did not appear to know each other.

Assistant Public Defender Chandra Smith said Mayze had not provided any information about himself to her before the hearing, saying he appeared to suffer from “mental health issues.”

Mayze tried to make a statement in court, but Judge Sophia Atcherson advised him not to, reminding him that anything he said would be taken down by a court reporter.

Atcherson ordered him held without bail, noting the “cold, calculated” way Rockett was killed and his alleged statements to detectives.

According to prosecutors, Mayze also told investigators, “Kill as many people as you want,” “I killed both,” and, “Why I just, two or three motherf—–s.”

Prosecutors did not provide any context for his statements and no physical evidence was offered tying Mayze to the crime.

At a Monday press conference, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said detectives believe that two other fatal stabbings last month in Lawndale possibly were connected to Rockett’s murder.

Jose Refugio Ceja, 54, was found stabbed to death Nov. 15 in the 1100 block of South Keeler Avenue and 57-year-old Ruby Humphrey was found dead of stab wounds Nov. 13 in the 3100 block of West Taylor Street.

“The similarities of these crimes, victims in their 50s and 60s, all stabbed multiple times, and all in close proximity to Roosevelt Road … led detectives to believe that they may have been connected,” Johnson said.

Police said Wednesday that the murders of Ceja and Humphrey were still under investigation by Area Central detectives.

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