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Bail set at $200K for man charged in fatal 2016 Englewood shooting

Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue. | Supplied photo

A man charged with a fatal shooting that occurred two years ago in the Englewood neighborhood appeared Friday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, where his bail was set at $200,000.

Darryl Clay, 25, of Melrose Park, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the June 25, 2016 shooting, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

About 6:45 p.m. that night, Clay and a co-offender parked a silver car on Halsted Street, about two blocks from the intersection of 66th Street and Union Avenue where a group of people were congregating around an open fire hydrant, prosecutors said.

They surveilled the area and returned to the car, prosecutors said. Clay and the unnamed co-offender then started to walk back toward the group, but Clay returned to the vehicle after walking about halfway toward the intersection. The co-offender pulled out a 9mm handgun and fired into the crowd. Clay then drove both from the scene.

Darryl Clay | Chicago Police
Darryl Clay | Chicago Police

Lonnie King, 67, was struck in the back and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Two other men — ages 30 and 50 — were also wounded in the shooting, but were released after being treated at St. Bernard Hospital.

Clay is a documented member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, prosecutors said. None of the men shot were documented gang members, but several other people standing around the hydrant that night were members of the Black Disciples street gang.

A spokeswoman for Chicago Police said no one else had been charged in connection with the shooting as of Friday.

Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Williams said Clay could face a life sentence if convicted and asked Judge Michael Clancy to hold him without bail.

When Williams described the shooting as being committed in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner” Clay, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, became visibly upset and began to move toward Williams. A sheriff’s deputy who was stationed in the courtroom moved to block his approach and whispered into Clay’s ear. Clay returned to his spot before the judge’s bench and continued to glare at Williams.

Clay’s attorney said he was married with five children, works two jobs to support his family and is a volunteer at Ald. Emma Mitt’s 37th Ward office. The position is often unpaid, but he is sometimes compensated for his service with a $25 gift card.

Mitt’s office did not respond Friday to a request comment about Clay’s work in her ward.

Judge Clancy set Clay’s bail at $200,000.

His next court appearance was set for July 17.