Man Charged In Death of Columbia College Student

Student Kevin Ambrose was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting Tuesday near the 47th Street Green Line stop

A 26-year-old Chicago man was denied bond Friday after being charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Tuesday night shooting death of a standout Columbia College student.

"I just don’t think there’s a condition of bond that can keep everyone safe," Judge Adam Burgeois said in ordering Jerome Brown held in the slaying of Kevin Ambrose, 19.

The judge referenced the fact that Brown, of the 7400 block of South Emerald Avenue, was out on parole for aggravated robbery at the time of the shooting, that he faced a number of misdemeanors, and that he had eight failures to appear in court on his record.

Assistant State's Attorney Jacquelin Kwilos alleged during Brown's hearing that Brown was riding in a car when a witness saw him get out, take something from the trunk and then fire shots near the Chicago Transit Authority's 47th Street Green Line stop before being driven away. 

The bullets, Kwilos said, hit Ambrose in the back as he walked to the station in order to prevent a friend from walking through a rough neighborhood alone.

Kwilos also alleged that Brown told a friend about the shooting and later returned to the scene in his car. The witness saw him, and that's what led to his arrest on Thursday, Kwilos said.

But Brown's public defender, Marijane Placek, described the prosecutor's scenario as an identification of a vehicle, not the identification of a perpetrator of a crime. She openly questioned why, if investigators had what they believed was a good case based on two witness accounts, did they wait an entire day to arrest Brown.

"As far as I'm concerned, I think it's interesting because I don't believe it happened the way it happened," Placek said of the prosecutor's case. "There were police on the scene almost immediately and his car was not picked up immediately. ... When he was, in fact, arrested, he was arrested without incident. If he was this raving, mad dog killer, then why didn't he fight back or why didn't he try to hide or why didn't he try to escape the county? He didn't."

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