Updated 07/26/11 – 10:24 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 24-year-old man has been charged in the murder of an off-duty Chicago cop who was shot and killed a year ago, about a month before he was set to retire.

Antwon Carter was charged with first-degree murder of a police officer, felony murder and attempted armed robbery in the July 2010 death of Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Sally Daly. Carter is also charged in a separate carjacking incident four days after Bailey’s murder.

Bailey, 62, was gunned down outside his South Side house on July 18, 2010, after returning home from a day working on the security detail of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey (Credit: Chicago Police)

Bailey was still in uniform as he returned to his home in the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue in the Park Manor neighborhood. As he polished the new Buick Regal that he had bought himself as a retirement gift, Carter allegedly approached him with a gun to try and rob Bailey.

Carter allegedly shot Bailey, who later died of his wounds.

Bailey’s widow, Pamela Bailey praised the Chicago Police Department and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. She told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman the fact Antwon Carter has been charged is justice.

“I’m very excited. This was good news today. It was good news,” she said. “I knew sooner or later it would happen. They’d find out who killed my husband.”

Pamela Bailey said she never lost faith that her husband’s killer would be charged.

Officer Bailey’s stepdaughter, Danielle Drayton, said she is happy to be moving toward closure.

“It’s somewhat closure for us, but on the flip-side, I can’t help but be grieved for his family,” said Drayton, “I mean we’re all losing somebody.”

Police began questioning Carter earlier this month while he was already behind bars for a parole violation after he was arrested on carjacking and weapons charges. Court records indicate he was on parole for a conviction of aggravated battery to a police officer. Records also show he has convictions on drug charges and possession of a stolen vehicle charges.

Carter reportedly talked about killing Bailey to several witnesses and police reportedly discovered handwritten letters in which Carter implicated himself.

Bailey was about a month away from turning 63 – the department’s mandatory retirement age – when he was slain.

Carter was due for a bond hearing at noon Wednesday at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building at 26th Street and California Avenue.

Coincidentally, the charges in Bailey’s murder came on the same day that police officers were expressing outrage at police brass over a memo that questioned the productivity of several officers, including Bailey – despite the fact he’s been dead for a year.