A Berwyn man on bail in a federal robbery case is charged with killing his parents last weekend at a nursing home and then returning to the unit with police for a wellness check, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Ocie Banks Jr., 33, faces two counts of first-degree murder after officers conducting a wellness check on Sunday found the bodies of Sheila Banks, 61, and Ocie Banks Sr., 79, on a bed in a third-floor apartment bedroom at the Wilson Yard seniors’ residence at 1032 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago police and prosecutors said.
Sheila Banks was shot in the right temple and Ocie Banks Sr. was shot in the forehead and back, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in court.
Prosecutors offered no motive for Banks Jr. to kill his parents, but Murphy said there was a history of physical abuse by Banks Jr. against his father.
Sheila Banks had previously kicked her son out of their home over the abuse, which led to the father securing an apartment for him and his son in Berwyn, Murphy said. At the time of their deaths, they were estranged but were “still friends”, Murphy said.
Court records show that Shiela Banks took out an emergency protection order against her son in 2014 and it was terminated in 2016.
On Friday, father and son went to Shiela’s apartment to play cards and both were recorded entering the apartment by a surveillance camera which recorded the front door of the apartment. unity, Murphy said. Banks Jr.’s mother was already inside her apartment at the time with two other people.
At around 3 a.m. the next morning, the camera recorded Sheila escorting her two friends to an elevator and then returning to the apartment, Murphy said.
After that, Banks Jr. was reportedly the only person seen entering or leaving the unit when he left at 6 a.m., appearing to lock the unit door behind him, then returned to his home in Berwyn.
No one else entered the apartment until police arrived Sunday evening to perform a wellness check accompanied by Banks Jr., Murphy said.
Family members asked Berwyn police to conduct a wellness check Saturday at the father and son’s apartment in Berwyn, and when Banks Sr. was not located, Chicago police was called to perform a wellness check at Sheila’s apartment, Murphy said.
Banks Jr. was arrested Tuesday after agreeing to meet with Area 3 detectives, according to his arrest report.
There was no sign of forced entry into the unit, the windows were locked and nothing appears to have been taken, Murphy said. No casing or firearm was discovered after the search of the apartment.
Banks Jr. was previously convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was facing federal charges after he allegedly robbed cellphone stores in Berwyn and Cicero on Jan. 15 of last year, court records show. Banks Jr. pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.
Banks Jr. previously worked as a rideshare driver and had an interview scheduled for a job with commuter transit provider PACE, his deputy public defender said. He was previously diagnosed with a “mental illness”, his lawyer said, but was not currently taking any medication.
Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Banks Jr. held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder. He was expected in court on May 3.