CHICAGO — The wife of a Wisconsin man gunned down while he was in town more than a year ago to attend a friend's funeral said it's "a relief" that someone has been charged, though she still has unanswered questions about her husband's death.
Prosecutors said Sunday that Maurice Terrell, 19, fatally shot Quentin Johnson, 37, after Johnson spent a night out with his friends on March 2, 2012.
Terrell, of the 11800 block of South Yale Avenue in West Pullman, also known as "Pig," according to police records, was charged with first-degree murder. He was ordered held without bail by Cook County Judge James Brown on Sunday.
Johnson's wife, Tracey White, reached by phone after the hearing, said her husband was in Chicago that weekend to attend the funeral of a friend, and planned to attend services the next day. White stayed at the couple's home in Madison, Wisc., because she had to work, she said.
White, 41, said she often wonders if things would have turned out differently if she had come with him.
"If I had went, he probably wouldn't have been out there," she said.
Johnson had gone out with a few friends, "because that's what we do when we're in town, we all get together and go out and have a couple of drinks," White said.
Johnson was in a parked car with his friends in the 200 block of West 55th Place near Odyssey II Cocktail Lounge about 11 p.m. when someone else came up to the window and began talking to Johnson, who was in the front driver's seat, Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Samp said in court.
During the conversation, Terrell approached and fired about 10 shots in the direction of the car before fleeing, Samp said.
A bullet struck Johnson in his back, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at 11:35 p.m. at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. No one else was hurt, according to Samp.
White said the man who came up to talk was one of her husband's cousins. After the shooting, he flagged down a nearby police car and told officers which direction the shooter went, according to Samp.
Officers soon saw a car with its lights out a few blocks away from the scene just minutes after the shooting happened and pulled it over, Samp said. Terrell was in the backseat of a car with three others inside, and a gun was found under the front seat near Terrell's feet, Samp said.
The other three in that car told officers they knew Terrell from around the neighborhood and let him in, Samp said.
Police tested everyone in the car for gunshot residue, and Terrell came back as the only match, Samp said. The bullet recovered from Johnson's body matched the gun found in the car, Samp said. Ten shell casings were found on the scene, according to Samp.
Terrell was arrested that night in 2012 and later released, Samp said. He was arrested again on Friday and charged with murder, according to police records.
White, who said she had no idea anyone had been charged with her husband's murder, described Johnson as a "family man" and "the best person you could ever want to be around."
She said she doesn't know why anyone would want to kill her husband. White said she and the rest of her family have tried to seek answers but have been met with silence from law enforcement officials.
She and Johnson had been together for a total of eight years and were practically inseparable, White said. Johnson had three kids before he married White and then helped her raise her three children, she said.
"He was all about family and keeping everybody together," White said. "He spent time with everybody."
White also described her husband as personable, working two retail jobs in Wisconsin and helping his other family members land jobs by striking up conversations with managers of other stores.
Though White said she's relieved someone has been charged, it doesn't bring her husband back.
"He played a big part in everybody's life," White said. "It's a big loss."
In court, Terrell's attorney said the 19-year-old is a high school graduate with three children. A law enforcement source said Terrell is affiliated with the Gangster Disciples.