It's a sad day for the legal community in Chicago. Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles was fatally shot outside his home in Chicago's South Side this morning. Judge Myles was killed in what appears to have been a robbery attempt gone awry. A woman he was with was shot in the leg and hospitalized.
Myles, 66, had been involved in adjudicating several high-profile cases during his years on the bench, including the trial of William Balfour, who was convicted for killing several of Jennifer Hudson's relatives.
Police Pursuing "Multiple Leads"
The details surrounding Judge Myles' killing are still murky. Police say the injured woman encountered the gunman shortly before 5:00 a.m., the Chicago Tribune reports. The two had an altercation and she was shot once in the leg. At that point, the judge, emerged from his home and was killed by the assailant. Judge Myles and the woman often traveled together to their morning workouts, according to neighbors.
No information about the gunman has been released, but police say they are pursuing "multiple and promising leads." Footage from nearby surveillance cameras may be able to help identify the shooter.
Loss Comes as a Shock to Colleagues, Defendants
Judge Myles's death came as a shock to his neighbors, colleagues, and even the defendants scheduled to appear before him. As those scheduled to appear before the judge on Monday were informed of his passing, one defendant broke down in tears, according to the Tribune.
"Everyone here is devastated," presiding judge of Cook County's Criminal Division Le Roy K. Martin Jr. said. "People know when a judge is fair."
Myles joined the bench in 1999, after a career as a criminal defense attorney.
"You don't think of it in terms of jobs where people are putting their lives on the line (like) police, fire, first responders," Martin said. "Nonetheless, when you're doing criminal cases, you're sensitive to the fact that judges are being blamed for the sentences. People get angry. I suppose time will tell if this had anything to do with his position."