CHICAGO CRIMINAL COURT — A man charged with murdering South Side rapper "Mad Dog" was denied bail Tuesday, and his alleged getaway man is being held on $400,00 bail.
The two men appeared stone-faced in court Tuesday as the assistant state's attorney announced the charges against them and rattled off lengthy criminal records for both men.
Assistant State's Attorney Terri Gleason said Yecary Harris, 30, of the 8300 block of South Anthony Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Christopher Thomas.
Rodney Harris, 31, of the 900 block of West 76th Street, was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding arrest after a brief car chase with police, Gleason said.
According to the state's attorney, Yecary Harris exchanged words with Thomas inside a liquor store at East 51st Street and South Indiana Avenue. Harris then followed Thomas outside where he pulled out a gun and shot Thomas several times.
Officials did not know what was said between the two men, but witnesses who saw the shooting said the men may have been arguing over a coat, according to Thomas' ex-girlfriend.
Harris then walked across the street to a Citgo gas station and got into Rodney Harris’ car. Gleason said a witness on the street flagged down a police officer and pointed out Harris' car, and police began chasing Harris.
Gleason said Harris got onto the Dan Ryan Expressway around 63rd Street and was “speeding and driving erratically.” He took the exit ramp at South 43rd Street and rear-ended another car, Gleason said. She said the two men were arrested after a brief foot chase. During the chase, a 9mm gun was thrown out of the car, police said.
Two witnesses at the scene identified Yecary Harris as the shooter, Gleason said.
Gleason told Judge Don Panarese in court the two men each had several felony convictions. Yecary Harris had four felonies on his record, including kidnapping of a child in 2002 and unlawful possession of a firearm in 1998. Rodney Harris has five felony convictions and five failures to appear in court.
Family members of the victim, 28-year-old Christopher Thomas, watched from the courtroom gallery as Judge Panarese set bail for the two men charged with killing the aspiring rapper, who went by the name “Mad Dog” or “MD.”
Outside the courtroom, brother-in-law Orlando Jenkins said he hopes the two men get life in prison after they showed “no remorse” Tuesday.
“They take a life, they should get life,” Jenkins said but then added even that sentence was “too good for them.”
Thomas’ sister, Chrystal Kyles, held back tears as she remembered her brother as a father of one daughter and a good man.
“He looked out for his family,” Kyles said.
She and La’Shaun Kyles, another sister, said they believed the shooting was a case of “mistaken identity.” Both smiled as they talked about their brother’s music. They said he was on the way to the music studio when he was shot and killed.
Thomas is one of more than 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, the most the city has seen since 2008. It’s a grim milestone La’Shaun Kyles said she and her brother had talked about recently.
“I was talking to him about ‘500’ people killed,” she said. “I told him to be careful.”
But her sister, Chrystal Kyles, said her family was actually one of the lucky families this year. She said she was grateful two witnesses came forward.
“We’re a fortunate family because at least someone was charged and justice will be done," Kyles said.
She said they did not see her brother on Christmas because he spent it with his 9-year-old daughter, Kaiya. Kyles said her brother bought her daughter a pair of earrings.