Man charged with reckless homicide in fatal crash while out on bond

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The Leighton criminal courthouse at 26th and California where Judge Mauricio Araujo was assigned until last year when he was accused of sexual harassment. | Sun-Times file photo.

Sun-Times file photo

A man who was out on bond when he caused a fatal crash Saturday night in Jackson Park has been charged with reckless homicide, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Stephon Johnson, 35, additionally faces charges of eluding police and failure to report an accident, according to court records.

About 11:35 p.m., Johnson was driving a Jeep Compass home from a party when he and his passenger were stopped by Chicago Police in the 7000 block of South Stoney Island Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Maurice Alayo said Tuesday during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

After talking briefly with officers, Johnson sped away and eventually crashed into a rear of a 2016 Chevrolet Impala in the 6500 block of South Cornell, Alayo and police said. The crash caused the Impala to spin out of control and crash into a tree.

Stephon Johnson | Chicago Police

Stephon Johnson | Chicago Police

Alayo said the Jeep’s computer system showed the SUV was traveling 80 mph just seconds before the crash.

Charles Mickers, 36, was a rear passenger in the Impala and died shortly after midnight from his injuries at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Johnson and his passenger abandoned the Jeep and got into a Chevrolet Malibu that had been caravanning behind him at the time of the traffic stop, Alayo said. The Malibu was stopped by police a short time later near Lake Shore Drive.

Johnson was out on bond at the time of the crash, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty to armed violence and weapons charges at a court appearance the day before the crash. Johnson was initially taken into custody in that case May 21 and held without bail, records show. His bail was later reduced to $100,000 at a hearing May 29. He was released after posting $10,000 bond.

Judge John F. Lyke Jr. ordered Johnson held without bail on the reckless homicide charge. His next court date was set for July 12.

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