Before he was charged in Jaslyn Adams’ death, Demond Goudy’s life was marked by violence

WGN Investigates

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

CHICAGO — In recent years, violence has been a constant in the life of Demond Goudy, one of the men accused of taking part in the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams earlier this month.

Court records show that Goudy was shot and critically wounded on the West Side last October. That shooting occurred less than two weeks after Goudy’s brother was shot and killed in Humboldt Park. No one has been charged in either case.

Before he was charged in Jaslyn’s killing — a shooting that also left her father seriously injured — Goudy was already facing four separate criminal cases.

Demond Goudy (Chicago Police photo)

Court records show that, in addition to the murder charge, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has accused Goudy of robbery, manufacturing/delivery of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a gun with a defaced serial number and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. None of the charges against Goudy are more than 2 ½ years old.

According to court filings made by his attorney, Goudy was a participant in READI Chicago, “a job readiness program that provides cognitive behavioral therapy and work force training.”

Reached by WGN this week, the READI Chicago employee who oversaw Goudy’s program declined to comment. A message left Thursday with his attorney, Cathryn Crawford of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, was not returned.

Goudy’s older brother, Earnest James, was charged in an April 2019 shooting that left two people wounded at the corner of Ohio and Ridgeway. A crowd of about 15 people had gathered there to hold a vigil for another person who was murdered nine years earlier. James opened fire on the group from the passenger seat of a passing vehicle, striking two men and leaving one critically wounded.

The shooting, prosecutors said at the time, was the byproduct of a long-running feud between factions of the Conservative Vice Lords and the Traveling Vice Lords, two gangs with heavy presences on the West Side.

After he was charged, James spent the next 14 months in the Cook County Jail before he pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm, court records show. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but he was given credit for the 422 days he spent at the Cook County Jail. James was released from custody on June 26, 2020, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Goudy was charged with robbery the following September, and a judge ordered him to be placed home electronic monitoring while awaiting trial.

On Sept. 27, three months after he was released from custody, James was shot and killed in the 600 block of North Sawyer, just a few blocks from where he opened fire on the group in April 2019.

Earnest James (Chicago Police photo)

The next week, Crawford asked Cook County Judge Edward Maloney to loosen Goudy’s electronic monitoring conditions to allow Goudy to attend his brother’s funeral on Oct. 2. The judge agreed.

Three days later, Maloney entered another order that allowed Goudy to “leave his home every Monday through Friday at 8:00 a.m. and to return by 6:00 p.m.,” court records show. The order was made, Maloney wrote, to allow Goudy to continue with his programming, therapy and job training at READI Chicago.

The same day that Maloney entered that order — Oct. 5, 2020 — Goudy was shot and critically wounded in the 1500 block of South Kenneth, according to his attorney and Chicago police records. He was shot in the back and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. He spent five days at the hospital before he was released.

Less than two weeks later, Crawford filed another motion to ask Maloney to further loosen the conditions of Goudy’s electronic monitoring. The change, Crawford argued, was necessary so Goudy could receive medical care for the injuries he sustained when he was shot. Maloney opted to get rid of Goudy’s electronic monitoring, court records show.

“Demond is not a threat to anyone given his condition,” Crawford wrote in support of the motion.

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