Bail denied for ‘getaway driver’ charged in murder of Cook County judge

By Jean Lotus Staff Reporter

Joshua Smith (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

Prosecutors said a “targeted robbery” of the girlfriend of Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Raymond Myles was the motive behind the early morning April 10 shooting death of the judge behind his Chicago South Side home.

Alleged getaway driver Joshua Smith, 37, was denied bail at an April 13 hearing by DuPage County Judge Robert Miller, who was brought in for the case.

Smith is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and aggregated battery with a firearm. Smith turned himself into police after the burnt-orange Pontiac Sunfire, belonging to his ex-girlfriend, was observed on security videos.

Prosecutors said Smith and an unnamed accomplice cased the judge’s home for two or three weeks, targeting the woman, age 52, who left the home at the same time every morning. Police said they are searching for the accomplice.

The morning of the robbery behind the judge’s home, in the 9400 block of South Forest Ave., Smith’s accomplice grabbed the woman’s gym bag and shot her in the leg around 4:10 a.m., prosecutors said.

Myles, 66, allegedly heard the commotion, and responded, police said. The judge was shot by Smith’s accomplice on his porch four times in the shoulder, hip and thighs, prosecutors said. Neighbors said they heard gunshots and a woman’s voice screaming, “Don’t kill him! Don’t kill him!” police reports said. Myles and the woman were transported to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where Myles was pronounced dead.

The semi-automatic handgun used in the murder was identified by ballistics experts as a weapon used to shoot a victim in another armed robbery in January, said Chicago Detectives Bureau Police Chief Melissa Staples at a press conference on April 12. That shooting was not fatal.

The FBI had offered a $25,000 reward to persons with information on the judge’s killing.

Smith was convicted of armed robbery in 2003 and served six years in prison.

Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Raymond Myles (Photo courtesy of Cook County Circuit Court)

Colleagues remembered Myles as a tough-but-fair judge.

“I join all of the judges today in the Circuit Court of Cook County in expressing our sadness regarding the tragic passing of our colleague and friend, Associate Judge Raymond Myles,” said a statement from Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans. “I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the Criminal Division.

“Judge Myles joined the bench with a wealth of experience in law and extensive service to the community. I have always known Judge Myles to be focused and determined in the pursuit of justice, and his conduct earned him the confidence and respect of the people who appeared before him,” Evans wrote.

Myles served on some high-profile cases including overseeing the bond hearing for William Balfour, who was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of three family members of Chicago entertainer and actress Jennifer Hudson.

Myles was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a vacancy in the circuit court 1999 and then was elected by circuit court judges to an associate position in 2001. He served in the criminal division since 2009, according to a resume released by the Chief Judge’s office.

Myles graduated from Carter Harrison Technical High School and received a BA and Masters Degree in social work from University of Illinois-Urbana. He received his law degree in 1977 from University of Illinois College of Law.

Funeral information had not been released as of press deadlines.






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