A Cook County judge who was shot and killed Monday morning in Chicago was the first judge seen by several defendants in a number of recent prominent cases in the area.
Raymond Myles became a Cook County Associate Judge in 1999 and several high-profile defendants appeared in his court over the years, including Anthony Abbate, the Chicago police officer who was caught on video beating a female bartender.
Myles also heard motions for two men later convicted of killing seven people at a Brown’s Chicken in Palatine years before. And when William Balfour was arrested for the murder of three relatives of singer Jennifer Hudson, he first appeared in front of Myles, who ordered him held without bond. Balfour was later found guilty.
More recently, Myles himself was a victim when his car was hit by another driver in 2015. Police say that other driver got out and ended up punching the judge in the face, causing serious injuries. The driver is still awaiting trial in that case.
Myles, 66, was fatally shot just before 5 a.m. outside his home in the 9400 block of South Forest in what authorities say may have been a potential robbery.
Authorities said the shooting happened after a 52-year-old woman walked out of her house and encountered the gunman. Words were exchanged, and the suspect shot her in the leg. Myles heard arguing and the gunshot and came to the aid of the woman, a friend the judge worked out with daily, according to police.
Myles "exchanged words with the offender," Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said, and he was shot multiple times.
Police said the shooting could be the result of a potential robbery, though it does not appear any property was stolen. Police do not believe the woman knew the gunman. She is expected to survive.
"It's a direct attack on the criminal justice system that keeps our society safe," First Deputy Superintendent of Police Kevin Navarro said. "You have our word that we will not let Judge Myles' life be lost in vain, and we will hold his killer accountable."
Navarro - who called the judge's killing "another senseless act of violence" - said Supt. Eddie Johnson ordered the department to use every resource to track down the offender.
The FBI has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to Myles' killer.
“I join all of the judges today in the Circuit Court of Cook County in expressing our sadness regarding the tragic passing of our colleague and friend, Associate Judge Raymond Myles," Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said. "I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the Criminal Division.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Area South detectives.