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Man free on bail charged with murdering parents in Chicago

An Illinois man, who was free on bail, faces two counts of first-degree murder after authorities discovered the bodies of his parents with fatal gunshot wounds at a Chicago seniors’ residence on Sunday night .

Authorities allege Ocie Banks Jr, 33, of Berwyn – about ten miles west of Chicago – murdered his 61-year-old mother, Sheila Banks, and 79-year-old father, Ocie Banks Sr, reported CBS Chicago. During a wellness check around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, authorities discovered Sheila with a gunshot wound to the head and Ocie Sr. with multiple gunshot wounds at Sheila’s apartment in the 1000 block of West Montrose Ave. . in Chicago, police said. Ocie Sr. also suffered facial trauma, ABC Chicago noted.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Ocie Jr. drove Ocie Sr. to a card party at Sheila’s apartment on Friday, noting that Sheila already had a pair of neighbors by the time the two men arrived, according to surveillance footage, CWB reported.

Although Sheila and Ocie Sr. did not reside together, their family said they were still married and spent a lot of time together, ABC Chicago reported.

Video taken just after 3 a.m. Saturday reportedly shows Sheila leading her friends to an elevator and then returning to her unit, according to CWB. About three hours later, at 6:01 a.m., Ocie Jr. is seen exiting the apartment, Murphy said. He first appeared to lock his mother’s door before leaving the building, according to Murphy.

The CWB said:

No one else entered the fourth-floor apartment until the Banks were found dead the next evening, according to Murphy. Chicago police discovered the couple after Ocie Banks Jr. asked them to do a wellness check because they couldn’t contact the couple, Murphy said. The son and other family members were present when police arrived at Wilson Yard.

Officers found Ocie Banks, Sr. lying face down in bed with gunshot wounds to his forehead and back. Sheila Banks was lying next to him in bed with a gunshot wound to her temple. Murphy said police found no firearms or casings in the apartment and there were no signs of theft.

Chicago police say Ocie Jr. has been identified as the suspect in the double homicide and was arrested Tuesday in the 2400 block of West Belmont Ave, ABC Chicago reported.

CWB noted that Ocie Jr. was charged by the Justice Department in January.

On January 21, the Justice Department announced that Ocie Jr. was charged “for allegedly robbing cell phone stores in suburban Chicago.”

Banks allegedly brandished a gun during three robberies and one attempted robbery that took place in Cicero and Berwyn between late 2020 and early 2021, the Justice Department claimed.

He was charged with “three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and four counts of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in a violent crime,” the statement said.

According to the CWB:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Fuentes allowed Banks to return home on $10,000 court bond after his father agreed to serve as a third-party guardian on January 20, court records show. Authorities released the young Banks from custody even though his father was not present at the hearing, according to the documents.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Martha Pacold issued an arrest warrant for the alleged killer for pretrial offenses while revoking bail conditions, according to the CWB.

In a chat with ABC Chicago, the couple’s niece, LaToya Hambrick, detailed the heartbreaking losses the family is going through:

We are just devastated. We are at a loss for words. I can’t imagine – talking to her every day, she had so much joy in her voice. ‘Oh niece, I’m about to retire; I’m so excited. She was excited about her life to come, just life in general. She had a wonderful life. She has always worked. Ocie was a loving husband.

Greta Carter, Sheila’s neighbor, said the tragedy should never have happened.

“Whatever happened, it shouldn’t have happened,” she told the outlet.

“Nobody should get shot, nobody should get caught, nobody should get robbed, nobody should get beat up,” she added. “I think it’s horrible the world we live in.”


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