CHICAGO — The homeless man charged in the death of an off-duty Chicago police officer was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated battery.
Jovan Battle, 32, was charged for his role in the shooting that killed 23-year-old OfficerJohn Rivera on March 23, 2019.
Battle represented himself at his trial.
Police said Rivera was sitting in his car with friends in River North when a group of gang members opened fire on them.
While three people were charged in the murder, including Menelik Jackson and Jaquan Washington, police said Battle, who was not armed that night, encouraged the shooters to fire. They said they have him on pod camera video pointing at Rivera’s car and saying, “blow those b—s.”
Prosecutors said the shooters were looking for revenge after getting into a fight outside a nearby McDonald’s earlier in the night, but they targeted the wrong car of people.
A judge in the case recently ordered Battle to have a psychiatric evaluation. He was found fit to stand trial if medicated.
The Chicago Tribune reports during closing arguments, “Battle let loose, swearing and accusing police officers in the packed courtroom gallery of running drugs and colluding with street gangs. He insisted that prosecutors and Porter were hiding evidence from jurors and conspiring against him.”