No bail for man accused of shooting longtime friend in 2019 after fight inside Roseland business
Brian Wyatt, now 36, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the slaying of Eddy N. Vaughns, who was fatally wounded on the front steps of his South Side apartment.
Bail was denied Monday for a man accused of fatally shooting his longtime friend in 2019 after the pair got into a fight inside at a South Side business.
Brian Wyatt, 36, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the slaying of Eddy N. Vaughns, who was fatally wounded on the front steps of his Roseland home, Cook County prosecutors said.
On the afternoon of Nov. 2, 2019, Wyatt and Vaughns got into a verbal argument at a convenience store in the 400 block of East 111th Street, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
It’s unclear what the two were arguing about, but surveillance video of that day allegedly shows Wyatt, who was wearing a distinctive multicolored hoodie, started the quarrel around 3:15 p.m. At one point, he can be seen “aggressively arguing face-to-face” with Vaughns, Murphy said. Wyatt then punched Vaughns in the back as the two exited the business.
The argument continued as the two friends of about 20 years walked back to Vaughns’ home in the 10900 block of South Vernon Avenue. There, the discussion got more physical as the two pushed each other on the sidewalk in front of his place, Murphy said.
Vaughns continued to argue with Wyatt as he walked toward his front door. Wyatt followed Vaughns and bumped him with his stomach, prosecutors said.
Wyatt then allegedly shot Vaughns twice, striking him in the jaw and chest, while the gun was still in his jacket pocket, Murphy said.
After initially leaving Vaughns on the steps of his home, Wyatt returned and tried to help his friend up. He ultimately left and later misled police, telling them he thought the shots were being fired by someone else north of Vaughns’ home, Murphy said.
Wyatt called someone to pick him up at a nearby intersection. Once in the car, Wyatt, then 34, allegedly admitted to shooting his friend.
Wyatt’s cell phone data puts him in the area where the shooting took place around the same date and time, prosecutors said. The driver’s cell phone data also pinged near Wyatt’s location after the incident.
Another person told investigators they witnessed the entire incident and took a picture of Vaughns lying on the front step and Wyatt walking away from the scene.
Vaughns, 33, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he later died, authorities said at the time.
Wyatt was arrested in Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin, Dec. 6, before being extradited back to Cook County, Murphy said. He has a pending case there for operating while intoxicated, resisting an officer and operating while suspended — all misdemeanors. He had a sentence hearing scheduled for Monday, Murphy said.
Despite prosecutors petitioning Judge Charles Beach to deny Wyatt bail, a Cook County assistant public defender argued for a bail, noting that it wasn’t clear whether there was video of the actual shooting. She also questioned the witnesses’ potential bias and credibility and pointed out that there was no physical evidence tying him to the scene.
Wyatt is a father of three and a graduate of Thornton Township High School, his attorney said. He’s a full-time graphic designer and does some custom painting on the side, she added.
Ultimately, Beach sided with the prosecution at this juncture, ordering Wyatt to be held without bail.
Wyatt is due back in court Feb. 25.