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Parolee charged with murdering woman at luxury hotel

LaMarcus Washingt/ Phofrom Illinois Department Corrections

LaMarcus Washington / Photo from Illinois Department of Corrections

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Updated: September 18, 2012 7:57AM

A parolee with a long criminal history was charged Monday night with murdering a young woman in a luxury Gold Coast hotel in August.

LaMarcus Washington, 28, was charged Monday evening with one count of first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Brianna Gardner, who was found shot to death Aug. 13 at the Whitehall Hotel at 105 E. Delaware Pl., authorities said.

Washington, of Chicago, was arrested Aug. 14 for a parole violation and booked into the Illinois Department of Corrections on Aug. 16, authorities said. Investigators used the time to establish forensic evidence, authorities said.

He was denied bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office website.

Housekeeping staff at the boutique hotel found Gardner’s body in a seventh-floor room, according to police and hotel guests.

Court records show Gardner was arrested on a prostitution charge in Chicago earlier in August. She was on the sidewalk soliciting men in cars and on foot about 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 8 at 25 W. Hubbard St., police said.

She also was charged with prostitution in April in Harris County, Texas.

One person was initially taken into custody after the murder, and authorities said that person was Washington.

Chicago Police have arrested Washington 20 times on various charges and he has been convicted eight times, authorities said. He was sentenced to prison for three of his adult arrests.

Records indicate he was sentenced to five years in prison for residential burglary in 2003 and two years in prison for aggravated battery with a weapon in 2005. He was sentenced to six years in prison for a drug arrest in 2007 and was back in custody for that charge Monday night.

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