No bond for 2 charged with killing cop

May 22, 2010 9:02:41 PM PDT
Two suspects in the murder of an off-duty Chicago police officer appeared in court Saturday and were denied bond.Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor were charged Friday with two counts each of first-degree murder in the death of Officer Thomas Wortham IV, who had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.

A third suspect remained in the hospital Saturday and had not been charged in the Wednesday night shooting.

The fourth suspect, 20-year-old Brian Floyd, was shot dead at the scene by the father of Officer Wortham, who is also a retired Chicago police sergeant.

Prosecutors described the gun battle Saturday, one they say began with suspect Brian Floyd firing at Officer Wortham's father as he tried to help his son.

Prosecutors revealed in court that Officer Tom Wortham died Wednesday night as a result of being shot and run-over by the suspects as they tried to flee their failed attempt to steal the off-duty police officer's motorcycle.

"Brian Floyd and Malcolm Floyd approached Officer Wortham, put a gun to his head and ordered him off his motorcycle," said Joe Cataldo, Asst. Cook County state's attorney.

According to prosecutors, the officer's father witnessed the attemped robbery from his front steps.

"His father, Thomas Wortham III yelled out for those two people to leave his son alone, at which point Brian Floyd pointed the gun at Sergeant Wortham and fired one shot," Cataldo said.

The officer's father reportedly ducked inside, grabbed a gun and returned fire, and so did his son before being shot himself.

Police say at least one of the shots to hit Officer Wortham came from a gun of the would-be robbers.

"We're following up with regular forensics evaluation to help make those determinations," Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said Friday.

Weis refused to comment on whether investigators had determined which gun fired the fatal shot.

Both McGee and Taylor remained behind bars Saturday as attorneys for the suspects maintained their innocence.

The family members and friends of Paris McGee formed a prayer circle Saturday moments after a judge denied the 20-year-old and his friend, 29-year-old Toyious Taylor, bond for their alleged roles in Wortham's killing. Relatives offered no comment.

"I think there are mitigating circumstances, as well as, there are always two sides to a story," defense attorney Anthony Burch.

Both are charged with attempted robbery and first-degree murder in the deaths of Wortham and Brian Floyd, an alleged accomplice killed during what investigators call a botched robbery.

The other suspect, Floyd's cousin, was in critical condition Saturday evening.

"The victim in this case survived two tours of duty in the military in Iraq, but could not survive eating dinner in his parents' home in our community because of the crimes these few gentleman committed," said Joe Cataldo, Asst. Cook County state's attorney.

Court records show neither of the two suspects is a stranger to the justice system. Prosecutors are considering pursuing the death penalty against McGee, who was on parole for a previous felony concerning weapons charges, and Taylor, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the getaway car. Taylor most recently spent time in Cook County jail for a misdemeanor conviction after being sentenced to six years in prison for a 2002 drug charge.

Saturday's bond hearing came the Wortham family's community struggled to heal.

"This is my neighborhood. I have a business over here. It has certainly touched the hearts of not only this community, but all over Chicago," said resident Aileen Herington.

Police officers remained on guard at the Wortham home Saturday as members of a Boy Scout troop took up watch over Cole Park, a park the 30-year-old slain officer worked so hard to keep safe for area kids.

"We know we can't have a policeman on every corner in every alle, but if we band together we can correct some of our own ills," one man told ABC7 Chicago.

Because of Wortham's commitment to his community, residents say they plan to honor him by calling on the violence to stop.

Police said Saturday they were still waiting for word from Officer Wortham's family on funeral arrangements. It seems there will be no shortage of people who want to pay their respects.


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