A Chicago man accused of murder who beat his case when prosecutors couldn’t give him a speedy trial was killed after leaving Cook County Jail on Monday night, according to authorities.
Kamari Belmont, 23, was being held on separate murder and robbery cases stemming from a single night in 2015 in which he was accused of shooting one man during a robbery who later died and robbing another man a couple of hours later.
Cook County prosecutors in January dropped murder charges against Belmont and his co-defendant, Terrance Hogan, 23, after allowing too much time to elapse under the state’s speedy trial statute without bringing the case to trial, according to court records and Belmont’s attorney. Bail on Belmont’s robbery case was set at $100,000 the same day charges were dropped.
A spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, a friend of Belmont’s posted $10,000 bond. Belmont was released at 11:12 p.m.
Someone pulled alongside him in a white SUV on California Avenue a couple of blocks south of Cook County Jail on Monday night before midnight and started shooting. Belmont was shot multiple times.
The white SUV crashed, and those inside fled, according to police. Belmont collapsed in the street trying to flee and died at the scene.
“Oh, my God, I can’t believe it,” said Belmont’s attorney, Michael Johnson, who said he has known Belmont’s family for over two decades. He said he’d seen his client recently at the jail as Belmont’s family put together the bail money. Hogan remains locked up.
“I told him, once he gets out he’s got to get out of the neighborhood,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this.”
Johnson said he didn’t believe Belmont’s killing was street justice. The original armed robbery and murder weren’t gang-related, Johnson said, and it wasn’t possible word spread that quickly of his client’s release from jail.
The man Belmont was accused of killing, Sorrell Marshall, 40, was wounded in a robbery May 1, 2015, and died three weeks later. But after his death, prosecutors chose to indict Hogan and Belmont only on attempted murder and armed robbery charges, according to a motion filed by Hogan’s attorneys last fall and later adopted by Belmont.
It wasn’t clear why prosecutors waited so long to file murder charges or why the two were still indicted for attempted murder after Marshall died May 23. Marshall’s death, however, was not immediately ruled a homicide by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which initially marked the case as pending further investigation.
The two weren’t indicted on murder charges until a year later, but the speedy trial clock had already been ticking because the new indictment was based on the same set of facts, the three-page motion said, leaving prosecutors no choice but to drop the charges.
Marshall had dropped off his girlfriend near her apartment at 37th and Vincennes that night and had parked when Belmont and Hogan tried to rob him, according to authorities.
A struggle ensued, and Marshall was shot in the leg and the groin. He died later in the month.
Belmont was arrested in Canaryville that night after a second robbery, according to authorities. He and Hogan held up a man in the South Loop. A woman with him fled and flagged down a police car that tracked the phone to Canaryville.
Hogan was accidentally shot during the arrest, according to the police union at the time, and was arrested after he showed up at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center seeking treatment for his wound.
The Chicago Tribune’s Elvia Malagon contributed.
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