CHICAGO — The 19-year-old Roseland man charged with robbing and murdering his grandfather used the money he stole to buy a new phone and tattoos, prosecutors said Saturday.
William Strickland, of the 400 block of East 95th Street, was charged late Friday night with first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm in the March 13 death of his 72-year-old grandfather, also named William Strickland. He was ordered held without bond.
The elder Strickland was waiting near his house in the 400 block of East 95th Street for a ride to a dialysis appointment at about 3:30 a.m. He was approached by two males, police said, and shot multiple times. He was declared dead on the scene.
The younger Strickland appeared in court Saturday. Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Pillsbury said he used money stolen from his grandfather to purchase gym shoes, a new phone and tattoos.
While the elder Strickland waited for a Pace bus to take him to his regular dialysis appointment, his grandson shot him six times in the back and took a bag that contained a wallet and other items, Pillsbury said.
Police recovered a .25-caliber beretta semi-automatic handgun and matched it with bullet casings found at the scene, according to court records and prosecutors. The younger Strickland admitted to stealing his grandfather's gun, Pillsbury said.
The younger Strickland, who also goes by the first name DeShaun, was unable to account for his whereabouts during the time of the murder, Pillsbury said.
His attorney said Strickland was enrolled in Job Corps, an education program that helps people earn GED diplomas and learn job skills.
Strickland has the words "loyalty," "legacy," "respect" and two names tattooed on his arms and neck, court records show.
Neighbors confirmed the younger Strickland lived with his grandparents at the time of the shooting.
Mario Farmer, a neighbor two doors down, said the elder Strickland was a retired steel mill worker.
Farmer described him as a good neighbor.
"He was a good guy," Farmer said.
When he heard news Strickland's grandson was being charged with the murder, Farmer said he was surprised.
"I would have never expected it," Farmer said. "That's sad. That's really sad."
Farmer said he did not know the younger Strickland because he was too old to know "the younger generation," but said he believed the teen lived in the home with his grandparents.
"I just know that he stayed there. I don't know if they were on good terms or bad terms," he said.
If found guilty, Strickland could face life in prison. His next scheduled court date is April 1.