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April 11, 2009 11:03 AM
A Bellwood man charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend and then placing her body in the trunk of his car before it was discovered on Chicago’s South Side was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail today.
Charles Randle, 38, of the 200 block of Linden Avenue in Bellwood was charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of concealing a homicide.
During today’s hearing in Maywood, prosecutors alleged that Randle picked up Fertamia Smith, 35, Sunday morning so she could borrow his car to go to church. But she never made it and was reported missing by her family Tuesday.
The prosecutor said Randle drove Smith back to his house and parked in the garage where he pulled a pistol from his pocket. Smith tried to get out of the car but the garage was too narrow. She then tried to crawl over Randle to escape but during the struggle she was shot once in the chest, authorities said.
Randle then changed his clothes, took a shower and lined the trunk of his car with plastic bags before putting Smith’s body inside, according to the prosecutor. He disposed of her belongings in various garbage cans in the city and left his car near 68th and State Streets. He then bought another car which he drove to Tennessee before returning to the Chicago area.
Randle contacted his attorney and turned himself in to Chicago police on Wednesday night
His defense attorney, Greg Lapapa, objected to today’s bond hearing, arguing that Randle was not of “sound mental capacity” to understand the proceedings and was insane at the time the murder occurred. He also noted that Randle has not been taking his medications, which include Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac.
Associate Judge Gregory Vazquez said Randle was a risk of fleeing as he ordered the bond and remanded Randle to Cermak Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Smith and Randle have four children together. Two years ago she obtained an order of protection against him. That expired because Smith did not show up for court, Lapapa said.
According to the prosecutor, Smith has also called Carol Stream and Bellwood police, alleging that Randle had “put a hit out on her.”
Randle was convicted of theft in 1994. His next court date is Wednesday in Maywood.
— Victoria Pierce