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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Jermaine Nolen

No bail for man accused of killing stepdad in front of his mother

A 31-year-old man was denied bail Sunday after allegedly killing his stepfather last week in suburban Bellwood. | denissimonov -

A 31-year-old man was ordered held without bail Sunday after prosecutors said he fatally shot his stepfather at their home in suburban Bellwood as his mother watched.

Mykel Harris was charged with first-degree murder in Friday’s slaying of 54-year-old Kenny Willis, who prosecutors said was married to his mother.

Prosecutors noted that Harris and Willis had a “contemptuous relationship” and barely spoke despite living together with Harris’ mother in the 4000 block of Congress Street.

Harris initially called Bellwood police Friday to report that he suspected Willis of stealing a gun from him, according to prosecutors, who reported that Harris had a “large arsenal of weapons” he was licensed to own and carry. Police advised him to call back once Willis returned to the home.

Willis came home that evening and went to the garage, where he was known to hang out with friends, prosecutors said. About four hours later, Willis grew “belligerent” when he walked inside the home and started berating his wife after realizing something was missing from the garage.

The commotion led Harris to the living room, where his mother attempted to calm down Willis and asked him to leave, prosecutors said. But when Willis pushed her aside and reached for a bag, Harris pulled out a handgun and indicated for his mother to get out of the way.

That’s when Willis turned his back and reached for the bag, prompting Harris to fire two shots that struck his stepfather in the hip and flank, prosecutors said. After collapsing, Willis used his last words to ask the others to call 911.

His wife did so but was unable to speak, leaving Harris to take the phone, according to prosecutors. Harris then told the dispatcher that he shot Willis in response to threats he made. Harris’ mother, however, said she didn’t see her husband armed and a gun wasn’t recovered near him.

Willis was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, according to prosecutors and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled a homicide.

Harris was arrested at the home, where investigators found the gun used in the shooting and other weapons, prosecutors said. Harris, who had no prior arrests, admitted to the shooting, though his defense attorney claimed he acted in self-defense fearing his stepfather was armed.

Judge Mary Marubio ultimately denied Harris bail Sunday. He’s expected back in court Tuesday.

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