Man Charged With Murder, Carjacking In Police Chase That Led To Fatal Lakeview Crash

Sun-Times Media Wire
June 06, 2020 - 10:48 am

Justin Jackson/ Sun-Times


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Fernwood man has been charged with murder for the death of a woman killed in a crash with a Chicago police SUV in Lake View during a chaotic, televised police chase that spanned the city Wednesday night.

Marcel Oliver, still hospitalized with a punctured lung, faces felony counts of first-degree murder, vehicular hijacking, possessing a stolen vehicle and failure to report an accident causing injury, according to Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors. The 22-year-old also faces three felony counts of aggravated fleeing causing injury.

Authorities are holding him responsible for the death of Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, who was killed when a police SUV chasing Oliver slammed into her vehicle. Police radio dispatches indicate the officers had been ordered to give up the chase, prompting Mayor Lori Lightfoot to promise changes to CPD’s policy on pursuits.

During a Saturday hearing, Judge Arthur Wesley Willis ordered Oliver held on $1 million bail on the charges stemming from the chase and crash. But Oliver will be jailed without bond anyway due to an arrest warrant for failing to show up in court in a separate case.

Prosecutors said Oliver was driving a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee that was used in a drive-by shooting June 1 at a home near 104th and State streets.

Officers spotted the Jeep the next day near 115th and Michigan, but it got away, prosecutors said. Wednesday afternoon, a tow truck driver reported seeing it the next day near 108th and State and police pursued it, but soon terminated that chase too, prosecutors said.

That evening, officers spotted the vehicle near 115th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, according to police, who tried to curb the Jeep in the 9400 block of South Union Avenue.

That’s when the sprawling chase began, with television news helicopters recording the Jeep heading out toward O’Hare Airport and then back down the expressway, exiting and re-entering — and sometimes topping 100 mph, prosecutors said.

Eventually, Oliver crashed the Jeep near Irving Park Road and Keystone Avenue and ran to a nearby gas station, where he stole a 2016 Nissan SUV that had been idling while the driver went inside and was occupied by a person in the passenger seat, prosecutors said. As he left the gas station he ordered the person to get out the SUV and took off east on Irving Park Road with police in pursuit, prosecutors said.

While chasing the Nissan with their sirens activated, a marked squad vehicle slammed into a Ford Explorer driven by Francisco-Martinez north on Ashland Avenue, police said. The 37-year-old woman was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she died.

The squad car spun out and hit a Hummer stopped at the red light, prosecutors said. The Hummer’s driver, a 62-year-old man, and two passengers, a 29- and 44-year-old woman, were all taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition. Two officers were hospitalized in serious condition, prosecutors said.

Oliver drove the stolen Nissan back to the South Side before crashing into a pole in and being arrested near Pershing and Morgan in Bridgeport, prosecutors said.

Assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood said no evidence suggested Oliver was involved in the theft of the Jeep or the shooting for which it was originally wanted — and she said the officers involved in the fatal crash “were not following protocol by CPD.”

“These are the kind of events that are dangerous to every individual,” Judge Arthur Wesley said. “The aggravated fleeing and eluding in this manner shows a reckless disregard for human life. Had the individual had just stopped, none of this would have occurred.”

Oliver has another court hearing Monday

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