Christopher Harris, 3rd of 3 defendants, convicted in Alex Valadez murder

A jury reached a verdict Wednesday night for the third man accused of gunning down Chicago police Officer Alex Valadez.
October 9, 2013 8:40:31 PM PDT
A jury reached a guilty verdict Wednesday night for the third of three defendants accused of gunning down Chicago police Officer Alex Valadez. , authorities said.

After announcing they had reached a verdict, jurors were still deadlocked on one count against Christopher Harris and had not yet read the verdict at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Harris' case was the third and last left to be resolved in connection with the 2009 homicide of 27-year-old police officer Alex Valadez, shot and killed in Englewood while responding to a call of shots fired in the early morning hours of June 1, 2009.

The murder case was prosecuted by Alvarez herself, as were the cases against Shawn Gaston, convicted two years ago, and Kevin Walker, convicted Wednesday morning after nearly ten hours of deliberations by the jury. Though prosecutors say Walker did not fire the shots that killed Valadez, he is said to have driven the car that Gaston and Harris fired from. Reacting to the earlier verdict was Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

"We're pleased with the verdict against Kevin Walker. We're not satisfied. We would have preferred if he was convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer, which would have been natural life rather than however many years he's going to get," McCarthy said.

Walker, 25, whose street nickname is "Killer Kev," was also convicted of the attempted murder of Kelvin Thomas - the resident Valadez was interviewing when the plain-clothed officer was slain in the 6000 block of South Hermitage.

The jury returned their decision after being sequestered late Tuesday night.

Valadez, 27, and his partner were responding to a call of shots fired aimed at Walker and the two others when he was killed.

Valadez was "protecting" the three men. But the three men thanked the officer for his service with a hail of bullets as they tried to retaliate against their enemies, prosecutors said.

Two years ago, Alvarez also prosecuted Gaston in her first case since her 2008 election.

Gaston, 24, was convicted and is currently serving a 125-year prison term.

In 2010, the Cook County state's attorney's office drafted and helped pass the "Valadez Law," which mandates a prison sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a gang member.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.