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2 Men Charged with Carjacking, Murder After Fatal Police Shooting

By Emily Morris | January 9, 2013 4:58pm
  Akeem Clarke, 22, (left) and Martel Odom, 23, were charged with murder after a 17-year-old boy was shot by police following an armed carjacking, police said.
Akeem Clarke, 22, (left) and Martel Odom, 23, were charged with murder after a 17-year-old boy was shot by police following an armed carjacking, police said.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two men were charged with the murder of a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by police after all three were allegedly involved in a carjacking, police said.

But their attorney said the men were "scapegoats."

Cedrick Chatman, 17, died after an officer shot him following the alleged carjacking on Monday. An officer fired at Chatman because he was thought to be carrying a weapon, police said in an earlier statement.

Akeem Clarke, 22, of the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue in South Shore, and Martel Odom, 23, of the 0-100 block of East 69th Street in Grand Crossing, were charged with murder, robbery and carjacking, police said.

Two victims, one male and one female, allegedly met Clarke, Odom and Chatman in the 7000 block of South Essex Avenue on Monday with the intent on selling the three cell phone service, Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Samp said at a Wednesday bond hearing.

Clarke, Odom and Chatman then got in the back seat of the victims' Dodge Charger, Samp said. But the sale apparently went wrong when an argument began and quickly escalated, Samp said.

Clarke allegedly pulled the male victim into the back seat of the car, and the three began to beat him, Samp said. She said they demanded money and took $400 from the victim.

Odom then allegedly got out of the car and opened the front passenger door where the female victim was seated and took her cell phone, shoes, coat and cash. The female victim was eventually able to escape and find a passerby to drive her home.

Clarke, Odom and Chatman allegedly continued to beat the other victim at the scene. He managed to crawl across the street and away from the attack and was later treated for his injuries at a local hospital, Samp said.

Chatman got in the car and drove away while Odom and Clarke stayed in the area, Samp said.

She said Chatman drove to East 75th Street and South Essex Avenue, where police saw him commit a minor traffic offense.

Moments later, an alert about the stolen car came over the police radio, Samp said. Officers stopped the car, but Chatman jumped out and took off running with a black object in his hand, authorities said.

He allegedly turned toward the officers and one of them, "fearing for his life and the life of his partner," fired his weapon, striking Chatmen twice, Samp said.

Chatman was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead about 2:45 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Clarke and Odom's attorney, Public Defender Marijane Placek, said police are trying to use the men as "scapegoats" for the shooting, adding that no gun was recovered.

Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan set bond at $600,000 for Clarke and $650,000 for Odom.

Larry Merritt, a spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority, said previously that the case was under investigation. He could not verify what object Chatman was allegedly holding.