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Deadly stickup netted suspects two cellphones: prosecutors

William Paschal / phofrom Chicago Police

William Paschal / photo from Chicago Police

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Updated: August 3, 2014 6:24AM

A South Side teen was ordered held on $1 million bond Tuesday in connection with a deadly stickup earlier this year that police said netted the suspect and his sidekick just two cellphones.

William Paschal, 18, of 7200 block of South Artesian Avenue, appeared in Cook County criminal court Tuesday on first-degree murder and other charges, but authorities say he didn’t fire the fatal shot that killed 19-year-old college student Kevin Baker during an armed robbery in the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue on the afternoon of Jan. 16, authorities said. An acquaintance of Paschal’s is suspected of firing the deadly shot, though that person has not been charged in the case.

Baker and his 23-year-old cousin were walking home after classes at Harold Washington College when Paschal and his acquaintance exited a maroon minivan with loaded guns, said Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini.

Paschal then took the cousins’ cellphones at gunpoint, Santini said.

After the robbery, Baker and his cousin tried to flee when the acquaintance asked “who he is?” then opened fire, Santini said.

Baker, who lived nearby in the 6200 block of South Maplewood Avenue, was shot five times, including at least once in the head, authorities said. Responding police officers found Baker “being held by his mother who ran to the scene after hearing the gunshots,” Santini said.

Paschal and his acquaintance, both admitted gang members, fled in the van after the shooting, Santini said. He died two days later at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Baker, an only child, was studying to be a veterinarian, neighbor and family friend Earnestine Barnette said after the shooting.

Detectives learned Paschal sold one of the stolen cellphones to a pawnshop near South Racine Avenue and West 63rd Street, Santini said.

Although the number of cellphones reported stolen this year is down by 28 percent compared to last year, 2013 marked the highest number of cellphone thefts and robberies, in five years. According to police, there were 15,308 cellphone robberies or thefts of cellphones in Chicago last year. The number has been on the rise every year. In 2009, there were 9,450; in 2010, 10,667; in 2011, 11,716; 2012, 13,176.

After further investigation, detectives learned the robbers had made statements implying they had been involved in the shooting of a rival gang member as retaliation for the murder of a fellow gang member.

“That was an innocent kid. He didn’t have anything to do with nothing out there,” Barnette said.

Police arrested Paschal June 29 and he appeared in court Tuesday wearing a red sweatshirt and white pants. Santini noted Paschal’s “extensive juvenile background,” and Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Paschal held on $1 million bond and issued a next court date of July 21.

Paschal’s attorney had asked the judge to take into consideration that he did not fire the shots that killed Baker. He noted Paschal is a high school graduate with four siblings.

After bond was set, Paschal, of the turned around and yelled “Love ya’ll man!” to relatives.

His acquaintance has not been arrested and charged for the murder, authorities said.

— Contributing: Tina Sfondeles

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