Updated: March 25, 2011 9:31AM
The city’s first official murder case of 2010 was the first one solved. In March, a Markham man and two sisters from Chicago Heights were charged in connection with the beating death of Victor Ortiz, 29, of Chicago Heights.
Ivy Green, 22, of the 16000 block of Homan Avenue, Markham, was charged with first-degree murder. Sisters Tina Jones, 23, and Kelly Jones, 25, both of West 15th Street, were charged with aiding, concealing and abetting a fugitive.
One month before Ortiz’s death, the sisters told police he poured sugar in their car’s gas tank and stole their license plate. The day Ortiz was killed, the sisters were getting a copy of the police report when they saw him riding his bicycle. Tina James called her ex-boyfriend, Green, and told him about Ortiz.
Green chased Ortiz through alleys and then hit him with a piece of concrete in the right side of his head. Ortiz fell down, and Green bashed him in the head a second time. Ortiz later died at a hospital.
Michael Sobucki and Julian Allen
Two men were killed during one weekend in June. One of the deaths was an isolated incident — the murder of a homeless man — while the other, police say, may have fueled three other murders.
Michael Sobucki’s beaten body was discovered about 1 a.m. June 12 behind a house in the 1400 block of Emerald Avenue, police said. Sobucki, 56, died of multiple injuries, including a crushed skull.
Sobucki’s ex-fiance, Karyn Mehorczyk, of Dolton, said police told her Sobucki, who was homeless, and another man argued over a pint of vodka before he was killed.
The same day Julian Allen, 23, of the 18700 block of Willow Ave., Chicago Heights, was shot to death behind Center Food & Liquors, located off U.S. 30 and Center Avenue. Police say Allen was a drug dealer in the city’s east side.
A 53-year-old man who was standing nearby was shot in the foot but told police he didn’t see or hear anything.
Less than a month after Allen’s murder, the city’s east side was rocked by another murder less than two blocks away.
On July 1, Jerome Johnson, 44, was killed at a home in the 1300 block of Center Avenue. Authorities found Johnson’s body on a rusted trampoline with three gunshot wounds to his face, chest and neck. He still had his wallet, and marks on the ground indicated he had been dragged to the trampoline.
At the time of his murder, Johnson was living in the home owned by his girlfriend’s sister, Deborah Wells.
Oshay Wells, Toya Bradley, Courtney Wells
Two more people with ties to the Wells family were gunned down outside their apartment building. Toya Bradley, 28 and Oshay Wells, 30, were shot to death July 26 in the parking lot of Thornwood Apartments, 19460 Glenwood Road. The two shared a two-bedroom apartment with Bradley’s four children.
Police said Oshay Wells was a gang member had been picked up in the past carrying crack cocaine.
The couple planned to go to Club Suave in Chicago Heights, so they stopped home to change clothes at about 11:30 p.m. The couple was ambushed outside the apartment.
The murders continued in November, when Deborah Wells’ son, Courtney Wells, was shot to death outside his cousin’s home. Police say Courtney Wells had no criminal record, his son was enrolled at the city’s premier private grade, St. Agnes, and he was as a concert promoter.
The night Courtney Wells was murdered, he had been working at a show at Adrianna’s Club and Ballroom in Markham. He borrowed his cousin’s van that night. When Wells returned to his cousin’s house at about 4 a.m., two people shot him in the head and chest between 20 and 30 times.
Police and the Wells family believe the deaths of Oshay Wells, Bradley and Courtney Wells may be connected to Allen’s murder, a notion Courtney Wells’ brother, Bryan Wells, denies.
Chicago Height’s final murder last year came on Dec. 19 after Chicago Heights resident Marquetta Campbell, 26, danced with the wrong man at a party.
Camillie Brodanex, the man’s girlfriend, saw the dancing and started fighting with Campbell. Brodanex and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Bell, followed Campbell to the parking lot of Big Boy Submarine, in the 400 block of West 14th Street in Chicago Heights.
Bell pulled out a gun and started shooting. Campbell was shot in the head and stabbed.
“They came like thieves in the night for her,” said Joann Campbell, Marquetta’s mother. “Nov. 9, 1984, my baby was born. Now she’s gone.”
Bell, 21, of Chicago Heights, and Brodanex, 20, of South Chicago Heights, were charged with first-degree murder in her death.
Bell’s brother, Jerel Bell, 20, became the city’s first 2011 homicide victim. He was shot in the head three times, and found in a snowbank on Jan. 14.
Authorities have not determined whether the shooting death of 26-year-old Adtrian Murillo was accidental, suicide or murder. Murillo was found in an apartment near his home after police responded to a call the morning of Jan. 1, 2010, in the 5300 block of West 15th Street.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office said an autopsy was inconclusive as to whether the death was a homicide or suicide.
Chicago Heights Police Chief Michael Camilli said police probed it as a murder, although they were unable to classify it as a crime. No gun has been found. Witnesses told detectives Murillo was playing with the gun, putting it toward his head and making references to Russian roulette prior to his death.
(All information from police reports and court records)