Man accused of using hammer in murder claims self-defense

Gregory Stamps was arrested after police conducted a well-being check and found a 42-year-old man bludgeoned to death, Chicago police said.

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An apartment building where police found a man beaten to death Sunday in the 7100 block of South Lowe Avenue.

An apartment building where police found a man beaten to death Sunday in the 7100 block of South Lowe Avenue.

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A 31-year-old man accused of murdering a man he just met in a club says he was defending himself when he a beat the man to death with a hammer inside his Englewood apartment, Cook County prosecutors said in court Tuesday.

Police were called for a wellbeing check early Sunday when a resident of an apartment building in the 7100 block of South Lowe Avenue noticed a blood trail in a hallway that led to the rear of the building, prosecutors said.

Officers then found 42-year-old David Castile covered in blood next to a dumpster in an alley behind the building. Castile died after being taken to a hospital.

Soon after, officers saw Gregory Stamps in a stairwell at the building with blood on his hands and clothes, prosecutors said.

Gregory Stamps

Gregory Stamps

Chicago police

Stamps can be heard telling police he had fallen down the stairs and into a pool of blood, prosecutors said, citing evidence from the officers’ body-worn cameras. But when officers said they were going to place him in a squad car while they investigated, Stamps allegedly said, “I’m going to be honest, he was just trying to rape me.”

Stamps later admitted hitting Castile in the head multiple times with a hammer, prosecutors said. Castile’s wallet was allegedly found in Stamps’ front pocket, and when police searched Stamps’ third-floor unit in the building, they found a blood-soaked mattress in a bedroom, blood on the walls and a hammer, prosecutors said.

The Cook County medical examiner’s officer later determined Castile had suffered “20-30 skull defects” and had defensive wounds to his arms and hands that indicated a weapon, such as a hammer, had been used, prosecutors said. Stamps allegedly did not have any injuries.

In custody, Stamps told detectives that Castile gave him a ride home from a club and then tried to rape him, prosecutors said. After beating Castile, Stamps allegedly said he dragged Castile down three flights of stairs and out to the alley.

Stamps didn’t explain why Castile’s wallet was in his pants or why he didn’t contact police, prosecutors said.

Stamps had been released on his own recognizance earlier this year while facing a misdemeanor battery charge in a separate case, prosecutors said. He was also on parole after pleading guilty in 2013 of attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery, in which Stamps also claimed self-defense, prosecutors said. Details of that case weren’t available Tuesday.

An assistant public defender said Stamps earned money selling hair and makeup supplies online and argued he should be given a bond because he had given a “lawful justification” for the killing.

Judge Kelly McCarthy denied Stamps bail and set his next hearing for May 16.

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