Antwon Carter, who bragged to numerous people about killing Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey in 2010, was found guilty of first-degree murder Thursday afternoon.
Carter, who was arrested a year after Bailey was found near death in front of his Park Manor home, showed little reaction as the jury foreman read off the verdict, and shuffled calmly out of the courtroom flanked by sheriff’s officers.
Jurors took a little more than two hours to reach a verdict, following six days of testimony that spanned two weeks.
In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant State’s Attorney Natosha Toller held out the blood-stained uniform shirt that Michael Bailey was wearing the morning he was shot dead in front of his house nearly a decade ago, and told jurors the brown stains showed the killer must have known Bailey was a cop.
“The wounds show that the gunshots pierced through his uniform shirt above the jersey” that Bailey wore over his blue CPD top after finishing his shift, Toller said in her closing statement Thursday, addressing jurors and a courtroom gallery filled with Chicago Police officers.
The verdict comes some eight years after Carter was arrested for shooting Bailey in what Toller said was a car-jacking attempt that spiraled into a fatal shootout between the veteran officer and Carter. Bailey, a member of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s security detail, had been touching up his brand new Buick when he was attacked, and a managed to return fire despite being shot three times. Carter was arrested a year later, based largely on statements he made to friends and prison inmates, bragging about shooting the 62-year-old officer.
Carter’s lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Ed Koziboski, told the jury that those incriminating boasts didn’t gibe with the facts of the crime laid out over the course of the trial. The scrawny Carter, hoping to build up his reputation by claiming to be a cop-killer, had made up a “cowboy story” about a shootout.
“Antwon Carter is telling these stories because that’s how you build your cred on the street, making you bigger than you are, making you more than just a stick-up kid,” Koziboski said to the jury. “How do you get respect? By being the crazy guy who killed that officer.”
Bailey was one of six CPD officers killed in 2010, one of the deadliest years on record for the department in recent decades. His daughter, Jada, would follow in Bailey’s footsteps and applied to the police academy after her father’s death.