Preliminary hearings for the Evanston man charged in the fatal Clark Street Beach shooting concluded Thursday at the Cook County Skokie Courthouse, with defendant Jalen Murray’s arraignment set for next month.

Murray, 20, is accused of killing 18-year-old Skokie resident Jacquis Irby and wounding Irby’s two 15-year-old brothers in the April 12 incident.

Cook County Skokie Courthouse Credit: © 2023 Google

Evanston police arrested Murray on April 29, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged him with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Murray is being held in jail on a bond of $750,000.

On Thursday, Cook County Circuit Judge Anthony Calabrese formally notified defense attorneys that Murray, who was not present in court, had been indicted by a grand jury. Calabrese scheduled Murray’s arraignment, at which he will officially hear the charges against him and enter a plea, for 9 a.m. Thursday, June 1, at the Skokie Courthouse.

Judge Lauren Gottainer Edidin will preside over the case going forward.

Murray is represented by Michael Gillespie and Craig Campbell from Chicago law firm Gillespie & Gillespie. Campbell told Judge Calabrese that Murray will demand a trial.

In a news release issued after Murray’s arrest, EPD said the April 12 shooting began as “a verbal altercation” between two groups of people. “The altercation escalated with at least one offender firing a handgun into the group containing the victims,” the release said.

In the days and weeks since the shooting, Evanston officials and families have grieved and called for more to be done to reduce youth gun violence.

Mayor Daniel Biss issued a letter to the public which calls the shooting “a senseless outbreak of violence, resulting in the loss of life and ripples of pain across our community.” Biss outlined an increased police presence at the lakefront and downtown, and greater programming and outreach from the Youth and Young Adult Division of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.

District 65 held healing spaces on April 24 and 25, to allow staff members and members of the public to share their grief from the shooting. Gun violence activist group Moms Demand Action is planning a variety of events with the city; June is Gun Violence Awareness Month.

Editor’s note: This article has updated to remove a headline reference to entering a plea.

Alex Harrison joined the RoundTable in 2022 for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Upon graduating with his masters degree,...

Leave a comment

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted. Your full name and email is required. We do not post anonymous comments. Your e-mail will not be posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *