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Trio charged with beating, shooting man to death in Gage Park

5700 block of California

5700 block of California | Google Earth

Three men have been charged in connection with a fatal shooting and beating Tuesday night in the South Side Gage Park neighborhood.

Deshun Williams, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and is accused of fatally shooting 47-year-old Jose L. Navarro shortly after 10 p.m. in the 5700 block of South California Avenue, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Also charged are 27-year-old Bobby Spears and 26-year-old Darius Weems, who each face a count of aggravated battery, authorities said.

Williams was ordered held at the Cook County Jail without bail during a hearing Friday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Bail for Spears and Weems was set at $10,000. Each will have to post $1,000 bond to be released. Neither has a criminal background and for both this was their first arrest, prosecutors said.

About 10 p.m., someone tried to break into the home that Spears and Weems were staying at in the block where the shooting occurred, Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Crone said in court Friday.

From left: Deshun Williams, Darius N. Weems and Bobby J. Spears | Chicago Police

Chicago Police records indicate Williams and Weems both live in the block where the shooting occurred, but Spears’ address is listed in the Englewood neighborhood.

Spears allegedly fought with the person and drove them away, Crone said. He then called Williams, who arrived shortly after armed with a .45-caliber handgun.

Spears was explaining what happened to Williams and Weems as he looked out the window and claimed to see the same person he had fought with trying to break into a different home in the block, Crone said.

They chased that man, later identified as Navarro, Crone said.

However, Navarro has family that lives in a nearby house and he used to live nearby, Crone said. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office listed Navarro’s address to the 2400 block of West 24th Street in the Heart of Italy neighborhood.

A search of Cook County court records found that Navarro has a single 2012 charge of solicitation of a prostitute in his background. The case was later dropped.

After catching Navarro at the mouth of an alley about four houses away, all three defendants began beating him, Crone said. When Navarro was knocked to the ground, Williams pointed his gun and shot Navarro in the back of the neck at the base of his skull, Crone said. All three defendants returned to the home and did not call police.

Officers responding to a call of a person on the ground found Navarro lying in the alley, Crone said. Police said officers were responding to a call of a burglary.

Navarro was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 11:10 p.m., police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. An autopsy found he died of a gunshot wound of the neck into the head and his death was ruled a homicide.

 At some point, a person who lives at the home with Weems and Spears called police to report a residential burglary. Investigators made a connection between the two incidents, and all three defendants were taken into custody, Crone said. A search of the home turned up a .45-caliber handgun, which preliminary ballistics reports indicate was the same weapon that fired the fatal bullet, Crone said.

In custody and during a videotaped interviews with detectives, Williams admitted to shooting Navarro, Crone said. Weems and Spears admitted to beating Navarro. Spears also admitted to seeing Williams fire the fatal shot. Weems said he only heard it.

“There’s obviously more to this story,” Williams’ court-appointed public defender told Judge Michael Clancy in court. He additionally indicated that Williams may claim the shooting was committed in self-defense at later hearings.

All three were scheduled back in court Aug. 1.