CHICAGO (CBS) — The notion that Gregory “Bowlegs” Chester once led the deadly Hobos “super gang” was “manufactured from the very beginning” because he wouldn’t go along with a police officer’s shake-down, his defense attorney told a jury Monday.
Beau Brindley kicked off defense closing arguments in the gang’s months-long racketeering trial, starting with the story of an archer who painted targets around his arrows after he fired them — to make it look like he always hit the bulls-eye.
Brindley said CPD did the same with Chester. And he said that has left the feds with evidence against Chester that is “obviously the weakest in the case.”
“It was always a fix,” Brindley said. “It was always a fraud.”
Chester is on trial with five other men accused by the feds of leading a gang that terrorized the South and West sides for nearly 10 years. Brindley was the first defense attorney in the case to make a closing argument. Federal prosecutors made theirs Thursday. Arguments are expected to last until mid-week, meaning jury deliberations could begin days before Christmas.
The purported leader of the Hobos gets his nickname from a bone disease in his legs, and he mocked the idea of a “crippled gang leader” when he took the witness stand this month. Last week, a prosecutor argued that Chester was “smart as hell” and led the Hobos “not with his legs but with his head.”
But Monday, Brindley said police officers lied to the jury about Chester’s leadership of the gang. He reminded jurors that Chester had been shot and incapacitated in 2007, possibly by Black Disciples. And that’s when the feds say Chester ordered the murder of Antonio “Beans” Bluitt, a leader of a faction of the Black Disciples.
Further, Brindley said the officers’ identification of Chester as the Hobos’ leader pre-dated the knowledge of trial witnesses.
“It was a CPD creation,” Brindley said. “A CPD intelligence product. They had it. They made it. They put it together before anyone ever once uttered the notion that (Chester) was a gang leader.”
Chester is charged only in the racketeering conspiracy laid out in the first of 10 counts against the six alleged gang members. Others, like Arnold Council, have been tied to specific murders committed by the gang. Council has been tied to the 2006 murder of CPD informant Wilbert Moore, who Council allegedly killed with Paris “Poleroski” Poe because Moore snitched on the Hobos.
Council’s attorney, Cynthia Giacchetti, questioned during her closing argument whether Moore had really turned on the gang. If he had, she said there’s no evidence that Council knew about it.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)