Men With Suspected Carjacker Shot by Cops Charged With His Murder

Frederick Chatmen, 17, was killed by Chicago police on Monday after allegedly stealing a muscle car

Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013  |  Updated 4:19 PM CDT
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Accused Carjackers Charged With Murder

Martel Odum (L) and Akeem Clarke (R)

Two men who were with an alleged carjacker when he was shot and killed by Chicago police this week were charged Wednesday with his death.

Akeem Clarke, 22, of the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue, and Martel Odum, 23, of the 0-100 block of East 69th Street, were each charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of robbery and one count of vehicular hijacking, according to police.

Clarke was also wanted on a warrant, police said.

Judge Daniel Sullivan on Wednesday set bond at $650,000 for Odum and $600,000 for Clarke, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Frederick Chatmen, 17, stole a muscle car Monday afternoon on the South Side after he, Clarke and Odum beat a man with whom they were making a cell phone deal, prosecutors said in court records.

The incident began, investigators say, at about 1:45 p.m. Monday, when a man and a woman drove the Dodge Charger to the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue after arranging with Clarke’s sister to buy "cell phone service."

When the victims got to 76th and Essex, Clarke, Odum and Chatmen got into the back seat of the Charger, and Clarke’s sister, who had arranged the purchase, approached. She began yelling at the driver because she was upset about the phone she received, court records said. Clarke, who was seated behind him, grabbed that man around the neck and pulled him into the backseat.

Clarke, Odum and Chatmen then beat that man about the head and body, and demanded money from the victims, court records indicate. They took $400, a cell phone and the man’s shoes; and shoes, a coat, $40, and a cell phone from the woman. The woman then ran away down an alley, where an unknown person assisted her and drove her home.

Clarke, Odum and Chatmen continued to beat the man, then pulled him out of the Dodge as several witnesses approached. He was able to crawl across the street and saw the three men searching his car. Odom then crossed the street and demanded money from him again, court records said.

Chatmen then got into the Charger and drove away as the man flagged down a fire truck and ambulance. He was taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was treated for a fractured orbital bone, bruising and cuts, court records said.

Police potted Chatmen driving the stolen gray Charger with out-of-state plates west on East 75th Street, Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said. Two officers followed the car and approached it on foot when it was boxed-in by traffic at a stop light near East 75th and South Jeffery.

After ordering Chatmen out of the car, police say they saw him reach for an object with his right hand before opening the door and running away, Camden said.

During the chase, Chatmen turned toward officers with what they incorrectly believed was a gun -- court records said it was a shiny black object -- and one of the officers, fearing his and his partner’s lives were in danger, shot him, Camden said.

Chatmen, of the 7600 block of South Essex Avenue, died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Court records said he was shot twice. A Tuesday autopsy ruled his death a homicide.

The victim positively identified Clarke and Odum in a lineup, court records said. The woman identified Odom in a lineup. Clarke, after receiving his Miranda warning, told detectives he was there and took a phone from the victim.

The pair will appear for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 28.

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