CHICAGO — The man accused of murdering a Chicago police commander has been found guilty of first degree murder.
Shomari Legghette was charged with shooting commander Paul Bauer six times, during a chase outside the Thompson Center two years ago.
When leaving the courtroom Friday afternoon, police officers and family members were lined up outside of the courtroom while Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx hugged the prosecutors in this case.
Legghette, a former basketball star turned drug dealer, decided earlier this week he would not take the stand in his own defense. His lawyer admitted Friday that that hurt their self-defense case.
Bauer was a 31-year veteran of the police force. e was at the Thompson Center in February 2018 when he heard a call about a fleeing suspect. His colleagues had already tried to stop Legghette once that afternoon for urinating in public.
Legette’s lawyer argued he acted like a reasonable person would when being attacked by a stranger. His lawyer argued he had no idea Bauer was a cop. Prosecutors said Legghette had on a weapons system — a bulletproof vest, a gun with an extended magazine and a long, heavy ice pick. His friend testified he carried those items daily for protection in the streets.
For 25 seconds that day, Bauer and Leghette were alone in the stairwell before the fatal shots rang out. Those shots were played in the courtroom while Bauer’s family struggled to listen.
The jury only took a couple of hours to reach a guilty verdict.
Kim Foxx released a statement in response to the verdict, which said, in part: “We welcome today’s guilty verdict and the justice it brings to the family of Commander Paul Bauer, the Chicago Police Department, and the citizens of Chicago.”
Bauer’s family did not want to speak but they did hand out a statement saying it wass a bittersweet day for everyone who loved him. They said he was a hero and are happy with the verdict but overwhelmed with sadness.
The family thanked members of the jury for their verdict and said they did the right thing.
Sentencing will be in April and Legghette could get life in prison.