Man charged with murder during botched drug robbery

Jamie Richardson was ordered held without bail Friday for Aaron Lawrence’s late 2020 murder in Chatham.

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A Logan Square man asked to purchase marijuana from a man he shot to death moments later in an apparent robbery attempt in Chatham, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.

Jamie Richardson first approached Aaron Lawrence about noon on Nov. 24 while Lawrence was in line to place an order at Baba Philly Steak and Lemonade, 7859 S. State St.

When Richardson asked Lawrence about buying weed, Lawrence said he only had a small amount but asked Richardson how much he was looking for, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Richardson left the restaurant, but approached Lawrence in the parking lot, asking him about purchasing marijuana again, shortly after Lawrence sold an unknown amount to another person, Murphy said.

Richardson then asked for a lower price, pulled out a gun and told Lawrence to give him “everything he’s got” before opening fire, Murphy said.

Lawrence drove out of the parking lot, but crashed into a guard rail. Richardson fired his weapon two more times as Lawrence tried to get away, Murphy said.

Lawrence, of Stony Island Park, suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and chest and was later pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Richardson drove off in a stolen Hyundai Sonata following the shooting, Murphy said. The Sonata was found torched in the 5400 block of South Princeton Avenue the next morning.

Surveillance cameras captured the shooting, Richardson in a face mask in the restaurant, and the stolen Sonata’s license plate as it drove away, Murphy said. Separate surveillance cameras recorded Richardson driving the car at a gas station about six hours before the murder. An individual wearing clothes that matched Richardson’s was also caught on camera being picked up by an SUV near where the stolen car was found, Murphy said.

Two days after the shooting, Richardson was taken into custody after he was arrested for two separate carjackings and an armed robbery at a Dunkin Donuts, Murphy said.

A .40-caliber handgun was found in Richardson’s pocket following his arrest, Murphy said. The gun matched shell casings found after Lawrence’s murder and GPS data from Richardson’s cellphone placed him at the crime scene at the time of the shooting, Murphy said.

Jamie Richardson

Jamie Richardson

Cook County sheriff’s office

Richardson was being held at the Cook County Jail when he was charged with first-degree murder this week, court records show.

Richardson was recently working at a McDonald’s while trying to earn his GED, an assistant public defender told Judge John F. Lyke.

Lyke called Richardson “a one person violent crime spree” and ordered him held without bail for Lawrence’s murder.

Richardson is expected back in court for his murder case on April 21.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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