Calling the man accused of killing 42-year-old Maria Ruiz in the parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall on Jan. 13 a flight risk, Judge Geary Kull ordered Honorio Perez held without bond while awaiting trial.
At Perez’s bond hearing at the Maybrook courthouse on Jan. 17, Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Moss told Kull that Perez, 49, was apprehended by police at a Chicago bus stop, where he was attempting to board a bus to Mexico.
Moss said that at the time of his arrest, Perez, a U.S. citizen, was carrying a fraudulent Mexican ID and was using a false name.
According to Moss, Perez and Ruiz were in a “dating relationship,” saying that at some point last year Ruiz left Perez. When Ruiz broke off the relationship, said Moss, Perez made threats to kill her and then himself.
Perez began stalking Ruiz, Moss said, and “continued to keep track of the victim after their separation.” In December 2017, Perez allegedly was able to obtain a gun.
On Jan. 13, said Moss, Perez learned that the Ruiz and her 14-year-old daughter were going to attend church and went there. The 14-year-old girl, who is also Perez’s daughter, reportedly saw Perez at the church, “making faces” at her and her mother. Perez did not confront the two at that time.
Perez later learned Ruiz and her daughter were going shopping at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, and went there.
Just as Ruiz, her daughter and another 14-year-old girl got into Ruiz’s 2003 Buick Rendezvous, which was parked in the southwest lot at the mall, Perez opened fire through the driver’s side window, striking Ruiz several times and grazing her 14-year-old daughter’s left arm, Moss said.
The daughter, said Moss, identified her father as the shooter and told Perez she was going to call police. Perez fled the scene before police arrived.
In arguing for Perez to be held without bond, Moss told Kull that he had been convicted in 2006 of felony unlawful use of a weapon and sentenced to two years’ probation.
Perez also has two misdemeanor convictions in his past, for retail theft in 2014 and for illegal possession of a firearm 1993. Perez has also been arrested three times for domestic battery, Moss said.
The public defender representing Perez at the bond hearing, Rodney Carr, said Perez is the father of eight children, had attended Juarez High School in Chicago for two years and had been working for a Chicago roofing company for the past four to five years.
Carr suggested a bond of $10,000 for Perez, but Kull disagreed, predicting that if Perez posted bail, he’d flee the country.
“I can’t think of a set of circumstances that would ensure his presence,” Kull said.
Perez will appear next in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 9 at the Maybrook courthouse.
Several members of Perez’s family appeared at the bond hearing, but declined to speak to reporters afterwards.