An Evergreen Park man accused of on Chicago’s North Side pleaded not guilty.
A 16-count bill of indictment alleges that Marcus A. Parker, 23, of the 9800 block of South Maplewood Avenue, and another man held up several pedestrians with a loaded gun on several occasions in early December 2011, making off with credit cards and electronics.
Prosecutors said police officers tracked and arrested Parker and Joel Shavers, 22, of Chicago, on a CTA brown line train after the duo robbed a pedestrian in the 2900 block of North Mildred Street on Dec. 4.
Both men are charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, unlawful restraint and unlawful use of a weapon.
If convicted, Parker would not be eligible for probation, according to prosecutors. He faces a minimum of 21 years behind bars—nearly equal to the years he has lived.
Chicago police charged him with battery in 2008, but the case was later dropped, court records show.
The seriousness of Friday’s hearing was contrasted by a number of awkward and seemingly indecisive moments on behalf of the young adults—including when it had to be explained to Parker that a “right to counsel” referred to an attorney, not a psychologist.
Though they appeared unsure of themselves, both men asked Judge Michael J. Howlett Jr. for a 30-day break in pretrial hearings to try to raise money for private attorneys. Instead, Howlett advised the men to accept his appointment of a public defender and get the case rolling.
They agreed with the understanding that they still have the right to hire a private attorney.
No one from either man’s family attended the arraignment.
They’re due back in court on Feb. 22.