Bail was denied Sunday for a parolee accused of fatally shooting a 66-year-old man last week after tying up his teenage niece during a sexual “role-play scenario” at the victim’s Burnside home.
Kenneth Malone, 25, of Roseland, stood stoically as Judge Charles Beach referred to him as a danger to the community and ordered him held on a first-degree murder charge.
Police had originally reported that James Lewis Jr. was fatally shot the night of Nov. 7 while protecting his 17-year-old niece as she was being sexually assaulted by an intruder. After police found “inconsistencies” in that initial account, prosecutors confirmed Sunday that the girl had since told investigators that the sexual encounter was consensual.
Malone arrived at Lewis’ home in the 500 block of East 89th Place and was let into the teen’s first floor bedroom through a window, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Lorin Jenkins, who said the pair had been texting since late October. The girl lived at the home with her uncle and his wife, who served as her legal guardians.
After having sex with the girl and tying her up “as part of a role-play scenario,” Malone crept upstairs to Lewis’ bedroom armed with a handgun and donning a ski mask, according to Jenkins. Lewis’ wife wasn’t home at the time.
After an initial “confrontation,” Lewis chased Malone into his niece’s room while brandishing a golf club, Jenkins said. As Lewis entered the room, Malone let off four shots that struck the home owner in the head, shoulder and back.
Malone then grabbed a jewelry box and ran from the home, Jenkins said. Once outside, Malone dropped the jewelry box and the ski mask, as well as a neck warmer and a 9mm bullet.
Malone was taken into custody about 10 minutes after his description was broadcast over police radio, Jenkins said. Meanwhile, Lewis was rushed to University of Chicago Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to prosecutors and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Jenkins said the teen girl positively identified Malone after the shooting and reported that he sexually assaulted her. However, she later changed her story and said the sexual encounter with Malone was consensual.
The teen has not been charged in connection with the incident, Jenkins said.
Once in custody, Malone admitted to confronting Lewis and ultimately shooting him, Jenkins said. His hand also tested positive for gunshot residue.
Malone has a substantial criminal background and is currently on parole for a 2018 conviction of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, Jenkins said. He was sentenced in Henry County court to five years in prison in that case.
Anne French, Malone’s public defender, described her client as a lifelong Cook County resident who attends church regularly and has received “numerous trade certificates.” French noted that Malone has recently worked for a grocery store chain for the past two months.
His next court date was set for Tuesday.