Judge denies bail after prosecutor presents case against man charged in killing 19-year-old woman in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG and CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Bail was denied at a Jan. 27 bond court hearing for a 27-year-old man who has been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman on Dec. 5 outside an illegal Jefferson Park nightclub where a prosecutor said cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and nitrous oxide were reportedly used.
The CPD Area 5 Homicide Investigations Support Team took the man into custody on Jan. 26 without incident at a residence on North Saint Louis Avenue where he reportedly lives, according to the Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs.
The suspect was identified by police as Rusten Reece Relucio, age 27, of the 5100 block of North Saint Louis Avenue.
The suspect was charged with the first-degree murder of Meagan M. Bilbo, age 19, who was shot in the chest as she was leaving the club to wait for a ride share at about 4:35 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, in the 4800 block of North Central Avenue, police said. The city later shut down the club. The club opened in October of last year and had been operating Thursdays through Sundays, according to the prosecution team.
A prosecutor said at the hearing that video surveillance and cell photo data place a silver Dodge Durango registered to the man at the scene of the shooting and show a person pointing a gun and firing about 14 shots toward the rear exit of the building according to prosecutors.
The prosecutor said that while the video of the shooting does not show facial features of the defendant, other videos from the area show that the shooter is wearing distinctive clothing that matches that of the defendant in the shooting video.
Prosecutors said that the Durango is spotted on many different cameras driving around the area and that surveillance footage from a gas station earlier in the night shows the face of the suspect getting into the Durango, and the clothes worn by the man at the station match those worn by the alleged shooter, prosecutors argued.
There is a distinctive logo on the sweatpants that can be seen on footage from both the gas station and outside of the club when the suspect got into the passenger side of the Durango, according the prosecutor.
”It’s exactly like the defendant’s from the gas station video,” the prosecutor said, adding that the defendant also has a tattoo and two fingers missing, the same as the person in the shooting video.
The prosecutor did not mention a motive for the shooting or discuss others who may have been in the Durango but he does mention an “unknown driver” getting out of the Durango in an alley before the shooting.
The defense attorney requested that bail be set for Relucio because he has no criminal background and has been working for the past 3 years as a forklift operator and previously worked for the Baxter pharmaceutical company. The defense attorney also said that the Relucio is not a flight risk because he has no passport and has lived in the Chicago area most of his life, living in Sauganash and graduating from Sauganash School.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge said that the defendant presented a “clear and present danger” given the severity of the case and that electronic monitoring devices can be “cut off” if he were released.
The next court hearing was set for Wednesday, Feb. 16.