One of three men convicted of killing Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV in 2010 returns to the courtroom this week for a new fitness trial nearly 12 years after the murder itself, leaving the officer’s family to question just how many times they will have to relive their worst nightmare.
Marcus Floyd, now 30, was convicted of Wortham’s murder in 2015, five years after authorities say he and three others shot and killed Wortham outside his parents’ Chatham home while attempting to rob him of his motorcycle.
“He was a friend to many people. He was a veteran. He served two tours of duty in Iraq. He was a Chicago police officer but more than anything, Tommy was just a good person,” the fallen officer’s sister Sandra Wortham said. “He was a protector. He was a person who literally spent his whole life working to become a public servant. That's who he was. He wanted to do good things in the world and make his city a better place, make the world a better place.”
Wortham’s father Thomas Wortham III – a retired Chicago police officer himself – watched the crime from his front porch and ran inside to retrieve his own weapon, engaging in a gun battle that critically wounded Marcus Floyd and killed his cousin Brian Floyd. The other two assailants, Toyious Taylor and Paris McGee, were uninjured. Taylor and McGee were convicted of murder in 2014. They and Marcus Floyd were all sentenced to life in prison.
Due to his injuries from the shooting, Marcus Floyd says he developed amnesia and can’t remember the events of that night. The Appellate Court granted Marcus Floyd a new fitness trial in 2019 after finding fault with an “erroneous jury instruction” combined with “improper testimony” in his original fitness trial, the court’s decision reads.
While Marcus Floyd has been granted the new fitness trial, the events of that day and his conviction are not in dispute in this proceeding – only whether he was fit to stand trial for the charges against him.
But as her brother’s killer returns to the courtroom, Thomas Wortham IV’s sister says her family will never give up in their fight for justice.
"The fact is that Marcus Floyd and his cousin Brian Floyd approached Thomas in the street in front of our house that night. Thomas was subsquently shot and run over by a car and he subsequently died. Those are facts," Sandra Wortham said. "The fact is, we already went through this."
“For me to think about my 75-year-old father and my 73-year-old mother being forced to walk back into the criminal court building and relive the murder of their son 12 years later with all of those facts? It's unconscionable,” she said, adding that she’s worried that if Marcus Floyd is found unfit to stand trial, he could be released from prison.
Sandra Wortham, an attorney, says she and her parents – a retired police officer and public school teacher – believe in the system. But she argues that her brother’s killing was not just a loss for her family – it was a loss for all of Chicago.
“Chicago should care that Thomas was murdered, because if Thomas could be murdered in front of his parents’ home, and we could 12 years later still be talking about this, what does that mean for our system? What does that mean for murder victims?” she asked.
“We are entitled to justice too,” Sandra Wortham continued. “They are entitled to their day in court, and we are entitled to justice for the act that they committed, that they chose to commit. The murder they chose to commit.”
Jury selection in Marcus Floyd’s new fitness trial took place Monday, with testimony set to begin Tuesday.