The defense attorney claims that his client was in fear for his life when he fatally shot a man last week at a Humboldt Park liquor store.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, Amari Watkins followed 44-year-old James Carson Jr. to the coolers in the back of Midtown Market, 3855 W. Division St., after a clerk refused to sell cigarettes to the boy and a 19-year-old man he was with, Cook County prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Bill Wolf said that’s when the older man threatened Watkins with a wine bottle.
“[Carson] grabbed the wine bottle and appeared to be brandishing it as a weapon against both my client and it was in that point of time that the single gunshot was fired in what was very arguably self-defense,” Wolf said.
Prosecutors said the wine bottle was in Carson’s hand moments before the shooting, but didn’t say why he had the bottle.
Watkins and the 19-year-old, who wasn’t identified in court, ran off after the shooting, prosecutors said. Carson, who was shot in the chest, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.
The shooting was captured on the store’s surveillance cameras, which recorded Watkins’ face, prosecutors said.
Chicago Police released a video of the shooting this morning.
WATCH (warning: graphic video)
** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **
Wolf said Watkins, a junior at Orr Academy High School, turned himself into detectives Thursday.
Watkins was subsequently charged with first-degree murder.
Wolf argued Carson’s actions leading up to the shooting were “threatening.”
Judge Barbara Dawkins disagreed and ordered Watkins held without bail as the case continues.
Our verdict for the shooter: That’s murder! Can’t claim self defense! He actually walked into the store with his gun drawn! He came into the store ready to shoot! Self defense is out the door.
Our verdict for the victim: Looks like he tried to stop a robbery or potential shooting, if he did it with one or two more people and rushed him , sure… one on one is obviously dangerous. He should left through the other exit…he tried to play superman and got super lit.
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