Pamela Bailey was asleep in bed with her grandchildren, when she heard screaming outside her Park Manor home in the early morning hours of July 18, 2010.
When she ran outside, she found her husband of 26 years, Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey, lying in the street near the brand new Buick sedan he’d bought himself as an early retirement gift.
“He was lying on his back, and his eyes were still open, and I touched him and his body was still warm,” Pamela Bailey recalled on the witness stand Tuesday, as she testified at the trial of the man charged with killing her husband.
“But he never moved or acknowledged me or anything.”
Michael Bailey later died at a hospital. He was shot three times in an exchange of gunfire that Cook County prosecutors said began as an attempted car-jacking by Anton Carter. Bailey, 62, was just weeks from retiring, and was one of six police officers killed in Chicago in 2010.
Courts records list Carter’s first name as Antwon.
Bailey had just finished a shift on then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s security detail when he was murdered. He was still wearing his uniform as he detailed the car around 6 a.m.
Carter was arrested a year after the deadly shooting after inmates who had served time behind bars with him told authorities that he bragged about the killing.
Nearly a decade later, the case is one of the oldest on the docket at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
Carter’s lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Ed Koziboski, said that statements and letters Carter wrote, taking credit for the killing were fabrications made to build up the scrawny man’s reputation on the street and inside prison. The way Carter described the shooting in his statements does not line up with evidence in the case, and prosecutors have no murder weapon or physical evidence linking Carter to the shooting, said Koziboski.
“He saw this as an opportunity to mythologize himself, to make himself look like more than he was,” Koziboski told the jurors in his opening statement. “He started making up stories. He told some people on the street… (and) the Illinois Department of Corrections is not a nice place, and it becomes even more important for Mr. Carter to become more than he is.”
Bailey’s son, Michael Jr., had also ran out that July morning after hearing the sound of gunshots, looked out his bedroom window and saw his father on the ground. The younger Michael Bailey grabbed two pistols, one of them a replica, as he ran to his father’s aid. The shooting was done by the time he reached the street. Michael Bailey Jr. said he spotted a tan pickup truck speeding away from an alley, and tried to fire at the fleeing vehicle. Neither gun worked.
The younger Michael Bailey tended to his father, and saw the older man had been shot in his neck and chest. Michael Bailey was wearing a tan baseball jersey over his uniform, and his gun was in his hand; Prosecutors said he’d managed to empty his clip at his attacker.
Michael Bailey Jr., who in 2012 pleaded guilty to gun charges in an unrelated case, lived with his parents, and had returned home from a nightclub with a girlfriend not long before his father returned home and was gunned down.