UPDATE: Police charged Paul Vukadinovic, 30 of Mount Prospect, with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and carrying a loaded firearm without a concealed carry permit.
NEAR WEST SIDE — The man exonerated of murder after spending 17 years in jail — only to be shot dead on the Near West Side this week — was killed by his alleged drug-dealing partner in a robbery gone bad, a top police source told DNAinfo.com.
And the man who pulled the trigger will not be charged with murder — because it was Alprentiss Nash who had first tried to rob the shooter and pulled a gun, the source said.
Detectives view it as a case of self-defense, the source said.
The shooting played out Tuesday afternoon on the West Side and ended with the slaying of Nash, 40.
Nash was convicted of the 1995 murder of Leon Stroud and served 17 years in prison. But he was exonerated and given a "certificate of innocence" and $200,000 after DNA evidence cleared him.
Family members told the Chicago Tribune he had turned his life around. After being released, Nash completed a culinary program and was a chef’s apprentice. Family members told the Tribune that Nash took out a loan against an expected settlement of a federal lawsuit that sought millions of dollars from the city. He used the cash to collect antique cars and travel the country.
Initial reports said that Nash died during an attempted armed robbery outside a currency exchange in the 1600 block of Van Buren on Tuesday afternoon. But a police source says Nash was actually the robber in a "drug deal gone bad."
After taking the “person of interest” who shot Nash into custody, detectives learned he was Nash's heroin-dealing associate. They met to conduct another drug transaction, a source said.
Nash “had done about 20 narcotics deals with this white guy from the suburbs,” a source said. “This time [Nash] tried to rip the guy off. There was a struggle for the gun. [Nash] fired at least once. The other bad guy returned fire and struck Nash who was fatally injured.”
Investigators recovered two guns at the shooting scene.
The shooting has been ruled a justifiable homicide because of self-defense. The man in custody will likely face only gun possession and drug-related charges, law enforcement sources said.
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