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Four Teens Charged With Killing 15-Year-Old Demario Bailey

By  Josh McGhee and Erica Demarest | December 15, 2014 12:48pm | Updated on December 15, 2014 3:50pm

 Demario Bailey, 15, was shot and killed during a robbery Saturday, police said.
Demario Bailey
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The group of thieves who shot and killed Demario Bailey blocks from his high school had robbed two other people under a viaduct just minutes before, prosecutors said in court Monday.

Carlos Johnson, 17, was ordered held without bail Monday on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Santini, Johnson and three other teens committed three armed robberies under an Englewood viaduct within a six-minute span Saturday.

Charges of first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery with a firearm and robbery against Johnson's three alleged accomplices were announced Monday afternoon, after Johnson appeared in court.

The first attack happened about 12:30 p.m. when the group robbed a 33-year-old man of his cellphone, earrings and $30 as he walked under a lengthy viaduct in the first block of West 63rd Street, Santini said. When the group demanded the man's cellphone passcode, he complied and ran off.

Minutes later, the group robbed a 17-year-old boy of his cellphone.

About 12:36 p.m., the thieves approached Demario and his twin brother as they walked to basketball practice at Johnson College Prep.

The robbers rifled through Demario's pockets before a struggle broke out, and one of the thieves shot Demario in his chest, Santini said. The group ran off, but were caught on CTA surveillance video as they did.

Demario's brother ran in the opposite direction, and when he realized his brother wasn't with him, ran back to find him motionless on the ground, Santini said. Demario was pronounced dead on the scene. He would've turned 16 Tuesday.

The mood at nearby Johnson College Prep was somber Monday morning as Demario's classmates returned to the school for the first time since the teen was killed.

Octavia Rattler said even before his death she never felt safe letting her 15-year-old daughter walk to the school.

"I live two blocks away, and I don't let my daughter walk to school," she said.

"I was crying so hard this morning. I just stood in the room looking at my kids thinking 'What would I do?'" Rattler said, reliving how she watched Demario's family wailing in grief during news reports over the weekend.

After dropping her kids off at the school Monday, Rattler paced outside, talking to a friend. Inside the school, Demario's absence was clearly felt, she said.

"It's really affecting these kids. [The school] was somber and quiet," she said. "Every kid that walked in looked like they were going to pass out. It was dead."

Minutes later, a young girl was carried out of the school by her father. Her hand dangled down his back as he carried her to his car, which sat among the dozens of news vehicles outside the school.

After seeing the girl carried out, Rattler looked over in disbelief to her friend, Irea Martin.

"She looked numb when she walked in," Martin said. "They got PTSD. This is affecting the children. It's not normal to see that death in front of you. This is Iraq."

Rattler said she knows firsthand the effects of dealing with death at an early age. When she was just 11 years old, her aunt was stabbed to death in the 5100 block of South Indiana Avenue, she said.

Back then, they needed counselors because deaths were so rare, Rattler said. Now she wonders if they can even help since murders occur so often.

"My whole life was based around that, and I was just 11," she said, adding that her experience prompted her to worry about how her daughter was taking her classmate's death.

"I asked her, 'Baby, how do you feel?'" Rattler said. "She told me 'I don't feel nothing. How am I supposed to feel?' Mom, this happens every day.'"

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