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Prosecutors: Dispute over tax return led man to kill girlfriend’s brother

Keith Middlet/ phofrom Chicago Police

Keith Middleton / photo from Chicago Police

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A family feud over a tax deduction that simmered for over a year is the suspected motive in the murder of an Englewood man in March, a crime for which his sister’s boyfriend was ordered held without bond on Friday.

Ricky Brown, 30, of the 700 block of West 61st Street, was found fatally shot on the block where he lived on the morning of March 12, according to police. An autopsy showed he was shot multiple times in the chest.

On Wednesday, police arrested Keith Middleton, 33, of the 6600 block of South Yale Avenue, and charged him with first-degree murder. On Friday, Judge Donald Panarese ordered him held without bond.

According to prosecutors, when Brown filed his 2010 federal tax return in February 2011, he claimed one of his sister’s children as a dependant. In April 2011, Middleton, who was dating Rachael Brown, filed his return and claimed the same child. Middleton’s claim was rejected by the IRS because only one person can claim a dependant, according to prosecutors.

Rachael Brown accused her brother of illegally claiming her son on his taxes, and he was jailed until September 2011, court record show.

After his release and until Brown’s death in March 2012, there were several unreported verbal altercations between Middleton, Ricky Brown and his sister. Middleton also was observed numerous times in Brown’s neighborhood, gesturing to Brown and family members with a gun while giving them threatening looks, prosecutor’s allege.

On March 9, he allegedly pulled a gun and approached a car in which Ricky Brown was a passenger, but the driver pulled away. Middleton allegedly told the driver later “to tell your boy, I got your ass.”

At about 8:35 a.m. on March 21, Brown was standing in front of his home when Middleton pulled up, grabbed a gun and shot him twice, prosecutors allege. Brown fell to the ground and Middleton went back to his car, only to return and shoot him three more times.

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