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Man Paralyzed By Gunshot Dies 14 Years Later; Shooter Charged With Murder

 Paul Anderson, 37, is charged with first-degree murder.
Paul Anderson, 37, is charged with first-degree murder.
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DNAinfo; Illinois Department of Corrections

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man already serving a 24-year prison sentence for a 2003 shooting is now facing first-degree murder charges in the same case.

Victim Melvin Sims, who was shot in his head and paralyzed in March 2003, succumbed to his wounds on Dec. 27, 2016, at the age of 57, Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Santini said during a bond hearing Thursday.

Accused gunman Paul Anderson, now 37, was convicted in November 2004 of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the 2003 attack that took place near Chicago and Harding avenues.

Cook County Judge James B. Linn sentenced Anderson to 24 years in prison. According to state records, Anderson was expected to be paroled in November 2023.

But a recent autopsy concluded that Sims died of "complications of remote gunshot wounds," Santini said, and the case was ruled a homicide.

Anderson now faces a new charge: first-degree murder.

According to prosecutors, Anderson and an accomplice got into an argument with Smith and his brothers about 9:30 p.m. March 29, 2003, in Humboldt Park. Anderson was a member of the Vice Lord gang who sold drugs, Santini said; the men fought about money owed to Sims' brother.

Anderson and his accomplice soon left, prosecutors said, and Sims and his brothers walked back to their home in the 700 block of North Springfield Avenue.

Roughly 10 minutes later, Anderson and his accomplice emerged from a vacant lot near the home armed with guns, Santini said. The duo fired multiple rounds toward Sims' family — striking Sims in his head and one of his brothers in his mouth and head.

The brother survived. Sims became paralyzed and would die nearly 14 years later.

According to prosecutors, Anderson has previous convictions for manufacturing and delivering cocaine.

Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Thursday set bail at $2 million.