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Man killed estranged wife then abducted kids, prompting Amber Alert: prosecutors

Lakisha Roby, 27, was fatally shot Wednesday morning at a BP gas station at 167th Street and Pulaski Road in Markham. | Justin Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times

A man followed his estranged wife Wednesday from a bar to a south suburban gas station, where he killed her then abducted her two children, prompting an Amber Alert, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. on Saturday called the allegations “chilling” as he denied bail for 40-year-old Lynn Washington, charged with the first-degree murder of Lakisha Roby, 27, and parental child abduction, court documents show.

Lynn Washington | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Roby was at a bar with friends early Wednesday in south suburban Oak Forest when Washington walked in and grabbed her around the neck to pull her away for a conversation, prosecutors said. After Washington grabbed Roby, she and a friend left the bar to walk to the friend’s nearby car. Washington also walked out, and video surveillance showed him waiting for Roby and her friend to leave, circling the bar in a car registered to the mother of one of his children.

Washington followed the pair to a Shell gas station at 167th Street and Crawford Avenue in Markham, prosecutors said. Roby and her friend pulled into the gas station, but Washington stayed in the eastbound lanes on 167th Street. Surveillance footage showed his car stopped in the street, not moving when the light turned green.

When Roby and the friend pulled into a BP gas station across the street, Washington pulled up next to them and yelled, “Y’all doing too much. Y’all both gone get f—– up,” prosecutors said. He then took out a gun and started shooting at them.

Roby’s friend sped off north on Crawford Avenue before realizing Roby had been shot in the back, prosecutors said. Roby called 911 about 1:30 a.m. and told the dispatcher her ex-husband had shot her.

She died at 2:22 a.m. at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Her death was ruled a homicide.

In the afternoon, Washington told a family friend who had Roby’s two children, ages 2 and 3, to bring them to his mother’s home in Harvey, where he picked them up and took them to an apartment in Hammond, Indiana, prosecutors said. The 2-year-old is also Washington’s child.

The children’s disappearance prompted Illinois State Police to issue an Amber Alert Wednesday evening, and an arrest warrant for Washington was issued for child abduction, prosecutors said. The next day, Washington took the children to a family friend, and authorities found them unharmed. Washington was arrested in the evening in Chicago Heights.

Washington had been prohibited from having any contact with Roby or her children because of an order of protection that was issued in October after he was charged with domestic battery, court records show.

In that case, Washington attacked Roby in her car when she went to his home to pick up their child, prosecutors said. He bit her on the face, abdomen and arms, strangled her and beat her before she managed to get away. Washington is due in court March 21 on that charge.

He has been convicted of two felonies and has been arrested five times for domestic battery, including for a 2016 incident with Roby.

“He was this victim’s personal terror,” Judge Lyke said of Washington Saturday. “Everything that she did failed. I wish I could set [bail] at $1 billion, but I can’t.”

Washington’s defense attorney for the murder charge, Frank P. Kostouros, said the protective order only applied to Roby, not the children.

“He did have parental rights and visitation rights for those children,” Kostouros said. “So this Amber Alert, they plastered his picture all over the press … for kids that were already in his custody.

“We’re going to fight this case tooth and nail. Mr. Washington is innocent of these charges, and I expect to have a trial soon,” Kostouros added. “He’s telling me he didn’t do this. He loves his kids, he’s a good dad, he’s a good family man.”

Washington is next scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.