A man who beat his murder case when prosecutors failed to give him a speedy trial was killed minutes after leaving Cook County Jail on Monday night, according to authorities.
Kamari Belmont, 23, was being held on murder and robbery charges after he allegedly shot a man during a robbery and robbed another man a few hours later in 2015. The man he shot died weeks later.
Cook County prosecutors dropped the murder charges at the end of January after allowing too much time to elapse under the state’s speedy trial statute, according to court records and Belmont’s attorney. The robbery charges remained and Belmont was ordered held on a $100,000 bond.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, a friend of Belmont posted the required $10,000 on the bond and Belmont was released at 11:12 p.m., according to jail officials.
Belmont was a few block from the jail when a white SUV pulled up to his car on California Avenue and someone inside started shooting, police said. Belmont was hit several times.
The SUV ran a red light as it sped off and crashed into a car near Interstate 55, police said. Those inside ran away. Belmont collapsed in the street 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 more than two decades. He said he’d seen Belmont at the jail recently as the family put together the bail money.
“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.”
But Johnson said he didn’t believe Belmont’s killing was street justice. The armed robbery and murder weren’t gang-related, Johnson said, and he didn’t think it possible that word spread that quickly of Belmont’s release from jail.
The shooting and robberies occurred on May 1, 2015. The person who was shot, Sorrell Marshall, 40, died three weeks later.
Belmont and another man, Terrance Hogan, 23, were arrested the night of the shooting and initially charged with attempted murder and armed robbery. The charges were not upgraded to murder until nearly a year later, in April 2016, according to a timeline compiled by jail officials.
It wasn’t clear why prosecutors waited so long to file murder charges. However, Marshall’s death was not immediately ruled a homicide by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which initially marked the case as pending further investigation.
But the clock under the speedy trial statute had started ticking with the attempted murder charges. The murder charges did not reset the clock because they were based on the same set of facts, according to a three-page motion from attorneys for Hogan and Belmont.
Prosecutors had no choice but to drop the charges, Belmont’s attorney said.
A representative from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Marshall was shot after he dropped off his girlfriend near her apartment at 37th and Vincennes and 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.
Belmont was arrested in Canaryville that night after he and Hogan held up a man in the South Loop, authorities said. A woman with the victim fled and flagged down a police car that tracked the phone to Canaryville.
Hogan was accidentally shot by police during the arrest, according to the police union at the time. He was arrested after he showed up at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center seeking treatment.
Source: Chicago Tribune