Man charged with killing boyfriend claims self-defense

Tony Shields, 29, faces a murder charge in the November stabbing of his boyfriend, Malcolm Mullins, 29.

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A Chatham man accused of stabbing his boyfriend to death was defending himself during a fight at the couple’s home, the man’s defense attorney said Thursday.

But Cook County prosecutors said Tony Shields gave a 911 dispatcher false information, tried to cover up his tracks and left before police arrived following the Nov. 14 stabbing.

Shields, 29, had no intention of harming Malcolm Mullins when he woke up that morning, defense attorney Kevin Sterk told Judge Susana Ortiz.

But when the couple began arguing, Mullins, 29, punched Shields and grabbed a knife, Sterk said. Shields was also injured as he wrestled the blade away from Mullins and went on to stab him, Sterk said.

“This is a clear case of self-defense,” Sterk told Ortiz, adding that Mullins had been violent toward Shield on other occasions.

Tony Shields

Tony Shields

Chicago police

Shields’ brother had dropped him off at home, in the 8200 block of South Dobson Avenue, just before the stabbing, prosecutors said. Fifteen minutes later, Shields frantically called his brother, asking him to come inside, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Shields’ brother found Mullins bleeding in the kitchen and called 911. Shields then took the phone from his brother and gave the dispatcher his first name and address, Murphy said.

Shields claimed to the dispatcher that he was jumped by several people in his backyard before the stabbing, but a Ring doorbell camera on a neighbor’s house and a surveillance camera at a nearby church only captured Mullins, Shields and his brother coming and going from the home that morning, Murphy said.

Shields left the home before police arrived while his brother stayed at the scene, Murphy said. Investigators found blood throughout the home and evidence that someone had tried to clean up with bleach, rags and a mop.

Mullins was taken to an area hospital where he died.

Shields was arrested on a warrant in downstate Rock Island, Murphy said.

Shields was in touch with defense attorneys after the stabbing but was unaware of the warrant, Sterk said.

Shields was visiting his sister in Rock Island and called police the day of his arrest because he believed he was the victim of bank fraud, the defense attorney added.

Ortiz ordered Shields held on $500,000 bail. He is expected back in court July 27.

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