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Second alleged shooter charged with murdering man in front of girlfriend, daughter

Christopher Bell was ordered held without bail for allegedly killing 35-year-old Maurice Reynolds in East Garfield Park.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California.
The Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California.
Andy Grimm/Sun-Times

A second alleged gunman has been charged with killing a 35-year-old man in front of his girlfriend and the couple’s 5-year-old daughter in East Garfield Park last fall.

Niko Hines, 27, was ordered held without bail for Maurice Reynolds’ murder in May.

Christopher Bell, 33, was also in a car with Hines on Sept. 24, 2019 when it pulled up to Reynolds, who had just left Garfield Park after playing with his daughter, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell
Chicago police

Reynolds, who was driving a 2011 Dodge Charger in the 200 block of East Hamlin Avenue, said, “I think that’s Niko,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Then, apparently aware of what would transpire, Reynolds told his girlfriend and daughter to get down. Bell and Hines opened fire, Murphy said.

Reynolds was struck multiple times and sped away, but crashed shortly after. He died after being taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Neither Reynolds’ girlfriend nor their daughter were injured.

A doorbell camera captured the shooting and Reynold’s girlfriend identified both Bell and Hines in photo arrays, Murphy said.

The driver of the car Bell and Hines were in that evening had also identified the pair as the shooters, prosecutors said.

That driver — who had not previously been mentioned in court — had no knowledge the shooting was going to take place and told investigators that that Bell and Hines had made the request to pull up next to Reynold’s car just so they could “holler” at him, Murphy said.

Cellphone data also shows that Bell, Hines, their driver and Reynolds were all in the area at the time of the shooting, Murphy said.

Niko Hines
Niko Hines
Cook County sheriff’s office

Defense attorney Shelby Prusak questioned why it took nearly a year for Bell to be charged if two witnesses had identified him.

Bell was arrested during in a traffic stop Monday in East Garfield Park near his home, Chicago police records show.

So far, he has been charged with first-degree murder, but will likely be facing attempted murder charges in the future, prosecutors said.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Bell held without bail, noting he was identified by two independent witnesses with no connection to each other.

Bell most recently worked packing books and previously worked at O’Hare Airport, Prusak said.

He is expected back in court on Sept. 8.