CHICAGO (CBS) — The four-time felon accused of killing Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer pleaded not guilty Monday to a 56-count indictment charging him with murder, and various drug and gun violations.
Shomari Legghette, 44, was under heavy guard as he appeared for arraignment at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Dressed in an orange jail uniform, and his hands in shackles, he made his first appearance before Cook County Judge Erica Reddick, who was assigned to oversee the case.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and about 20 police officers were in court as Reddick summarized the 56 charges against Legghette, including 24 counts of murder, six counts of armed violence, and multiple drug and weapons charges.
Over the objections of Legghette’s court-appointed lawyers, Reddick also granted prosecutors’ request for a gag order prohibiting either side from publicly commenting on the case, or releasing potential evidence.
Legghette has been in custody since Feb. 14, when he allegedly gunned down Bauer outside the Thompson Center.
“I hope that he never ever ever sees the light of day,” Johnson said at an unrelated event after Legghette’s arraignment.
Bauer, who was commander of the department’s 18th District, was dressed in full uniform and sitting in his police vehicle near the Thompson Center on Feb. 14, when he heard police radio reports about a suspect fleeing a street stop by tactical officers in the area, police and prosecutors have said.
A short time later, Bauer spotted Legghette running nearby, so he exited his vehicle and chased Legghette to the plaza outside the Thompson Center and tried to arrest him, but Legghette struggled with him, and fell down the stairs, according to Foxx.
Bauer either fell down the stairs with Legghette or followed him down, and the two continued to struggle on the lower landing, where Legghette pulled out a gun and fired seven shots, hitting Bauer six times in the head, neck, torso, back, and wrist.
Nearby officers arrested Legghette within seconds of the shooting, and recovered a 9 mm handgun with an extended clip from his coat pocket, authorities have said. Police also recovered heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and a “sharp object” he was carrying. He also was wearing ballistic body armor.
Police said Legghette had just completed parole last year, after serving time for weapons and drug convictions.
Court records show Legghette has five criminal convictions, including four felonies, dating back to 1997:
• In January 2015, he pleaded guilty to gun and drug possession charges, and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
• In October 2011, he was convicted of a battery charge, and was sentenced to a year of probation and 30 days community service; he was cleared of a second battery charge and two counts of resisting an officer.
• In October 2009, he pleaded guilty to a gun charge from 2007, and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. A charge of being a felon in possession of body armor and a drug charge were dropped in that case.
• In 1998, he was convicted of armed robbery, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. In that case, the man wore body armor while committing a robbery in Forest Park, sources said.
• In 1997, he was convicted of a drug charge, and sentenced to a year of probation.