Uptown Murders

After Killing Parents in Uptown Home, Man Returned for Well-Being Check With Cops: Prosecutors

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A Berwyn man on bond in a federal robbery case is accused of killing his parents last weekend in a senior home, and then returning to the unit with police for a well-being check, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.

Ocie Banks Jr., 33, faces two counts of first-degree murder after police officers conducting a well-being check on Sunday found the bodies of 61-year-old Sheila Banks and Ocie Banks Sr., 79, on a bed in a third-floor apartment bedroom at the Wilson Yard senior home at 1032 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago police and prosecutors said.

Sheila Banks suffered a gunshot wound to her right temple and Ocie Banks Sr. had been shot in the forehead and back, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in court.

Prosecutors offered no motive for Banks Jr. to kill his parents, but Murphy said there was a history of physical abuse by Banks Jr. against his father.

Sheila Banks had previously kicked her son out of their home because of that abuse, leading the father to get an apartment for himself and his son in Berwyn, Murphy said. At the time of their deaths, they were separated but were “still friendly,” Murphy said.

Court records show Shiela Banks took out an emergency order of protection against her son in 2014 and it was terminated in 2016.

On Friday, the father and son went to Shiela’s apartment to play cards and both were recorded going into the apartment by a surveillance camera that recorded the unit’s front door, Murphy said. Banks Jr.’s mother was already inside her apartment at the time with two other people.

About 3 a.m. the following morning, the camera recorded Sheila walking her two friends to an elevator and then returning to the apartment, Murphy said.

After that, Banks Jr. was allegedly the only person seen going in or out of the unit when he left at 6 a.m., appearing to lock the unit’s door behind him, and then returned to his home in Berwyn.

No one else entered the apartment until police arrived Sunday night to conduct a well-being check accompanied by Banks Jr., Murphy said.

Family members asked Berwyn police to conduct a well-being check Saturday at the father and son’s Berwyn apartment, and when Banks Sr. was not located, Chicago police were called to conduct a well-being check at Sheila’s apartment, Murphy said.

Banks Jr. was taken into custody Tuesday after agreeing to meet with Area 3 detectives, according to his arrest report.

There were no signs of forced entry to the unit, the windows were locked and nothing appears have been taken, Murphy said. No shell casings or gun was discovered after the apartment was searched.

Banks Jr. has a previous conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was facing federal charges after allegedly robbing cellphone stores in Berwyn and Cicero on Jan. 15 last year, according to court records. Banks Jr. has pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Banks Jr. previously worked as an rideshare driver and had a scheduled interview for a job with suburban transit provider PACE, his assistant public defender said. He has previously been diagnosed with “mental illness,” his attorney said, but was not currently taking any medication.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Banks Jr. held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder. He was expected back in court May 3.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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