WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) –– Two men have been charged with murder after a violent carjacking left a man dead Thursday morning in Waukegan.
Police say the recovery of a weapon in an apartment complex garbage bin helped link the pair to the crime. A third man was released without being charged, pending further investigation, according to Waukegan police.
Fredrick T. Smith, 23, of Harvey was found hiding in the building’s ventilation system, police said. Kerwin P. Murry, 22, of Waukegan was found hiding in an apartment after attempting to shave his head.
Both are charged with three counts of first-degree murder and are scheduled for bond hearings Saturday morning in Waukegan, police said.
Smith also has weapons charges pending in Cook County, and was out on bond at the time of the carjacking, police said.
Dozens of uniformed officers and detectives spent nearly seven hours ferreting out the men, who were hiding inside apartments in Lakeside Towers, a low-income high-rise in downtown Waukegan.
Waukegan Police Chief Dan Greathouse said the “three thugs” were walking at about 6 a.m. on their way to buy cigarettes when they spotted a car, engine running, in the driveway of a home at 417 Hickory St.
The victim, Carlos Hernandez, 44, who lived at the address, was either preparing to get into the car or already inside when the men approached, according to the family. The men shoved Hernandez back into the car and sped off.
“About a block away, there was a struggle,” Greathouse said. “The victim was shot twice in the stomach.”
Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said Hernandez died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.
Police were alerted at about 6:20 a.m. and soon discovered Hernandez’s body, which had been pushed from the car near Julian Street and North Avenue. Police discovered the stolen 2003 Cadillac nearby — abandoned in the driveway of a home at 308 Julian St.
Police were led to the Towers by a police dog tracking a scent.
Police went floor by floor, searching each apartment, blocking off areas as they moved, and narrowing possible hiding areas by studying the building’s security video. A building security guard also helped to identify the men, whom she knew by their nicknames.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)