When he was paroled on robbery and gun charges in January, Niko Hines remained behind bars facing a slew of weapons charges in a separate case that was slowly winding its way through the criminal court system.
Then, in March, when Cook County Jail became one of the nation’s top hot spots for COVID-19 Hines was ordered released and placed on electronic monitoring.
Several detainees had their cases reviewed as part of an effort to decrease the number of detainees and slow the spread of coronavirus. But it was unclear if Hines was released for that reason.
Hines, however, was arrested again Thursday for allegedly murdering 35-year-old Maurice Reynolds in front of Reynolds’ girlfriend and their 5-year-old daughter last fall in East Garfield Park, allegedly while he was on parole.
At the time of his arrest, he was carrying a .45-caliber handgun, prosecutors said last week, giving few details as to why it took authorities several months to charge Hines in Reynolds’ murder even though Reynolds’ girlfriend identified him as one of the shooters and cellphone records showed Hines and his cohort in area around time of the crime.
Hines, 27, was back in jail Friday when Judge John F. Lyke Jr. ordered him held without bail. The judge also revoked Hines’ bond and electronic monitoring order from March, court records show.
Hines is also facing additional charges for the drug and weapons authorities recovered at the time of his arrest this week.
Reynolds was driving a 2011 Dodge Charger in the 200 block of North Hamlin Avenue after leaving Garfield Park with his girlfriend and daughter on the evening of Sept. 24 when they saw another motorist, prosecutors said.
That driver, who was in a 2013 Dodge Charger, followed the family and eventually pulled up to Reynolds’ car, prosecutors said. Reynolds said, “I think that’s Niko” and told his girlfriend and daughter to get down before Hines and the other person lowered their windows and opened fire, prosecutors said.
Reynolds drove off, but crashed into a parked car. He collapsed in the street after getting out of his vehicle. He suffered numerous gunshot wounds and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, prosecutors said.
A doorbell camera in the area recorded the two cars next to each other before they sped off after the shooting, prosecutors said.
The second shooter has not been charged and the case is still being investigated, a Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman said.
Hines is also a suspect in another shooting, but prosecutors gave few details, only saying one of the weapons used to kill Reynolds was used. Because the victim has been uncooperative, no charges have been filed in that case, prosecutors said.
Hines was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2018 after he was convicted of a 2016 robbery and weapon charge, court and state records show. He was released on parole in March 2019 on those charges.
Hines was arrested again eight months later and charged with multiple weapons violations. He was initially held without bail on those charges and for violating his parole. So he was returned to IDOC custody in December, released 18 days later on parole and sent back to Cook County Jail for the latest gun charges until he was granted bail and released on electronic monitoring in March.
Hines was expected back in court on June 4.