CHICAGO (CBS) — A man accused of shooting two people in the Gold Coast while trying to steal their cars last week made his first appearance in court Tuesday morning to face federal charges.
Earrious Moore, 23, faces up to 15 years in prison on a single count of violating federal carjacking laws.
Police and prosecutors said they want the case to send a message to other would-be criminals, but did not explain why he was facing federal charges, rather than state charges. Federal prosecutors said this was the third federal carjacking case they have filed since March.
Moore’s family bawled in court as a judge ordered him held in custody until May 24, when he is scheduled to return to court for a detention and probable cause hearing.
Moore’s defense attorney said she has “serious mental health concerns” about her client, and said she plans to ask for a psychiatric examination.
Police said Moore shot his brother in an apartment in the Austin neighborhood on Friday, and then stole several cars as he made his way to the Gold Coast, at one point carjacking an undercover police officer. After ditching that officer’s car near State and Oak streets, he tried to steal a Nissan, but when the 37-year-old driver resisted, Moore shot him, according to police.
Moore then allegedly stole a Jeep Patriot, and drove to Inner Lake Shore Drive and Schiller, where he ditched that vehicle and tried to steal a Mercedes Benz from an 84-year-old man, and shot the victim when he didn’t give up the car.
Chicago’s new carjacking task force with state and federal officials helped investigate and bring charges against Moore.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said carjackings have skyrocketed over the past year in Chicago, and most of the offenders have been juveniles. He said he wants to see the justice system crank up the heat on teen carjackers, because they typically are released to the custody of their parents after they’re charged, and go right back to stealing cars.
“We’re seeing instances where we’ll catch them on a Friday night, they go to court Saturday, and then Sunday they’re right back out; and on a couple of occasions we’ve caught them the next day with another carjacking and an illegal weapon,” Johnson said.
Chicago has seen nearly 250 carjackings since Jan. 1, and Johnson said arrests have doubled over last year.