Alleged gunmen face murder charges after woman paralyzed in 2015 Rogers Park shooting dies
A bullet recovered from the Carla Martinez’s body matched a gun found in the possession of one of the alleged shooters, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.
Two alleged gunmen accused in a 2015 Rogers Park shooting that left a woman paralyzed are now facing murder charges following the victim’s recent death.
Carla Martinez was left paralyzed from the neck down when she was shot in the back as John Parker and Deandre Loveless aimed for a passenger in the car she was driving, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.
Parker, 23, and Loveless, 27, were initially charged with attempted murder in 2016.
But after Martinez, 42, died April 21 from the injuries she suffered in the shooting, the charges were upgraded.
A bullet — which had remained lodged Martinez’s body since the shooting and was recovered during her autopsy — matched a gun found in Parker’s possession in an unrelated case, prosecutors said.
Martinez was behind the wheel of her car on the morning of Sept. 26, 2015 when another vehicle pulled alongside hers in the 1500 block of West Morse Avenue, prosecutors said.
Martinez said she saw Parker and Loveless seated in the front and rear passenger seats of the other vehicle and could hear them talking about the 19-year-old man in her car, prosecutors said.
Moments later, Loveless and Parker allegedly began to fire, striking her in the back. The teenager was also shot in the ankles, prosecutors said.
Martinez sped off, but lost control of her car and collided with another vehicle, causing injuries to her right leg that required amputation, prosecutors said.
Following the crash, another passenger in Martinez’s car got out and returned fire at the vehicle Loveless and Parker were in as it sped away, prosecutors said. A witness, who saw that man toss his gun over a fence before running off, alerted police. He was found a short distance away and was arrested. His weapon was recovered, prosecutors said.
The gunman in Martinez’s car, who was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison, identified Loveless and Parker as the shooters, prosecutors said.
Both man had been held in custody at Cook County Jail since they were charged in the shooting.
But following Martinez’s death, Loveless, who said a medical issues made him susceptible to COIVD-19 at the jail, had his bail lowered from $1 million to $150,000. He was able to post bond and was released on electronic monitoring.
However, Loveless’ bond was revoked in September when an anonymous tip led authorities to find marijuana at his home monitoring location, according to court testimony. His bail was reset at $1 million and he was taken into custody again.
Loveless’ lawyer pointed that there was no physical evidence tying him to the case, while also questioning the credibility of Martinez’s passenger who fired his gun.
Judge David Navarro ordered Parker and Loveless held without bail.
Both men were expected back in court Oct. 27.