Attorney for man charged with Bronzeville slaying claims it was self-defense

Cook County prosecutors said Thursday that 22-year-old Justen Jackson walked up behind the victim, Marki Alsup, and shot him in the head Dec. 13.

SHARE Attorney for man charged with Bronzeville slaying claims it was self-defense
Cook County Criminal Courts, 2601 S. California Blvd.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Sun-Times file

A defense attorney for a man facing a murder charge in connection with a Bronzeville shooting told a Cook County judge Thursday the killing was done in self-defense.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying 22-year-old Justen Jackson came up behind the victim, Marki Alsup, and shot him in the head.

“I don’t see how that could be construed as self-defense,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told Judge Susana Ortiz at the hearing.

Prosecutors said the shooting Dec. 13 outside a party in the 4600 block of South Wabash Avenue was captured by video surveillance cameras.

Shortly before the shooting, Jackson’s uncle called him to Alsup’s girlfriend’s birthday party, prosecutors said.

Inside, Jackson was greeted by Alsup’s girlfriend, though she had not invited him, and she introduced him to Alsup, prosecutors said. The girlfriend said the two did not appear to know each other.

Justen Jackson arrest photo

Justen Jackson

Chicago police

Prosecutors said both men are members of the Vice Lords street gang.

After his release from prison last year, Alsup told his girlfriend not to post pictures of him online because he worried there was a gang-related “hit” out on him and he believed someone was trying to kill him, prosecutors said.

Surveillance video showed a friend of Alsup’s leave the home just after midnight so he could plug his phone into his car while Alsup waited just outside the door to the house. Jackson walked outside and shot Alsup once in the head then sped away in a Silver Pontiac Grand Prix sedan, prosecutors said.

Alsup, 37, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Alsup’s friend later identified Jackson as the gunman in images taken from the video, prosecutors said.

The sedan, prosecutors said, was found about 90 minutes later when it was struck by a train after being left unoccupied on the tracks at a railroad crossing in Indiana.

Dealership records showed it was registered to Jackson and a phone number listed on the documents matched call records from a person at the party earlier in the night, prosecutors said.

Jackson was arrested Jan. 7 in Lake County, Indiana, on a warrant charging him with murder, and he was returned to Cook County on Jan. 20, court records show.

Purav Bahatt, a private attorney for Jackson, told the judge “there’s more to this story” than what prosecutors had said.

“This was a matter of self-defense,” Bahatt said but did not provide additional details during the hearing.

Bahatt said Jackson was threatened at the party and that Jackson’s family has also received threats and are “in hiding in fear of violence toward them.”

Bahatt asked that Jackson be released on a bond he could afford while the case continues.

Ortiz denied that request and ordered Jackson held without bail.

Jackson was expected back in court Feb. 9.

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