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W. Ridge Man, 64, Beaten to Death with Frying Pan at Birthday Party: Court

By Erica Demarest | February 17, 2016 2:03pm | Updated on February 17, 2016 7:14pm
 The murder happened Dec. 10 at Cary
The murder happened Dec. 10 at Cary "Mike" Silverstein's apartment in the 6500 block of North Hoyne Avenue, prosecutors said.
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A 64-year-old West Ridge man was brutally beaten to death with a frying pan at a birthday party, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The victim, Cary "Mike" Silverstein, was reported missing in December when he missed two meetings and failed to speak with his sister, whom he usually talked to daily, Assistant State's Attorney Brian Whang said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

Silverstein's body — which was thrown in a dumpster and brought to a suburban landfill — still hasn't been found, prosecutors said.

But 17-year-old Shawndre Lehman on Monday confessed to the violent attack after eyewitnesses identified him as one of Silverstein's killers, Whang said.

 Shatrara Lehman (l.) and Alexander Robinson (r.) are charged with murdering a 64-year-old West Ridge man and disposing of his body.
Shatrara Lehman (l.) and Alexander Robinson (r.) are charged with murdering a 64-year-old West Ridge man and disposing of his body.
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Two additional accomplices — Shatrara Lehman, 25, and Alexander Robinson, 28 — were charged late Wednesday, according to police.

The murder happened Dec. 10 at Silverstein's apartment in the 6500 block of North Hoyne Avenue, prosecutors said.

Silverstein was hosting a birthday party for a friend when he got into an argument with one of Lehman's male accomplices about 7:30 p.m., Whang said.

The accomplice accused Silverstein of saying derogatory things to his girlfriend, and punched Silverstein in the face before leaving the party to cool off, prosecutors said.

The accomplice returned a short while later, and he, Lehman and a third male began to punch and kick Silverstein, according to prosecutors. The group repeatedly beat Silverstein with a metal frying pan until the man was dead.

At that point, the three attackers and the first accomplice's girlfriend — Shatrara Lehman — devised a plan to get rid of Silverstein's body, Whang said.

The group cleaned Silverstein's blood with water and bleach, and washed the frying pan, prosecutors said. They removed Silverstein's clothes and tried to wash his body before placing him in a makeshift body bag made of two garbage bags taped together, Whang added.

Shawndre Lehman then dumped Silverstein's body in a nearby dumpster, while Robinson and the juvenile male acted as lookouts, prosecutors said.

According to Whang, Silverstein's body still has not been recovered. The company that collects trash in the area brings its garbage to a suburban Maywood facility. From there, garbage is sent to one of two landfills: a Rochelle location that collects two million pounds of trash daily or a Rockford locale that collects 10 million pounds of trash daily.

After Silverstein was reported missing, detectives found blood in his kitchen and bathroom, prosecutors said.

During the course of an investigation, an eyewitnesses pegged Lehman and his three accomplices as the killers, Whang said. Police arrested Lehman Monday, and he confessed to the murder and to dumping Silverstein's body.

Lehman, of the 500 block of North Lockwood Avenue in Austin, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder. He was 16 at the time of the fatal attack, court records show.

Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Wednesday ordered him held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Shatrara Lehman, of the 3000 block of North Gresham Avenue, with concealing a homicide, police said. Robinson, of the 400 block of North Drake Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder. Additional details about their involvement were not immediately available Wednesday evening.

Shatrara Lehman and Robinson are expected to appear in bond court Thursday.

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