By Bob Uphues
One of three men accused of the 2016 murder of a Brookfield man has been released from Cook County Jail and was placed on electronic home monitoring after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bond on Aug. 18.
DeJuyon Johnican, 33, will appear again in court at the Maybrook courthouse on Aug. 28. He and two other men are accused of plotting to kill 33-year-old Michael Smith, who on Jan. 27, 2016 was gunned down as he sat in his car in front of his home in the 3600 block of Forest Avenue.
Johnican and two others, Comfort K. Robinson and Jermaine Douglas, were arrested in November 2016 following a lengthy investigation. All three face first-degree murder charges.
Prosecutors alleged that Douglas was the gunman, who pulled up in a blue hatchback alongside Smith's car and fired several rounds at point-blank range at Smith. Police located the blue hatchback the following day in Chicago. At the time of the arrests, police said they had also uncovered evidence showing the three men met at different locations both before and after the shooting.
Smith was targeted, prosecutors say, because he was a security guard scheduled to testify as a witness in a criminal case involving Robinson. On the date of his murder, Smith had appeared in court, but the case was continued and Smith did not testify.
Prosecutors allege Smith was killed to prevent him from testifying in the future against Robinson.
The bonds for Johnican and Robinson initially were set at $250,000, but in December 2016 a Cook County judge ordered both men held without bond after Robinson was freed, which outraged Brookfield police.
Robinson and Douglas have been held without bond ever since. But in August 2017, a judge reduced Johnican's bond to $250,000, and last week the court convened a source of bail hearing. A day later, Johnican posted 10 percent of the $250,000 bond amount and was placed on electronic monitoring.
Brookfield Police Chief Edward Petrak angrily responded to Johnican's monitored release.
"I think it's outrageous. This isn't a non-violent crime. DeJuyon Johnican was charged with first-degree murder," Petrak said. "The murder of a man in the prime of his life, a devoted husband, son and father of a 3-year old boy. Killed because he chose to testify against a violent gang member in a Cook County courtroom. This is sickening."
Johnican is one of a host of alleged violent offenders who have been released from Cook County Jail and placed under electronic monitoring.
The Chicago Sun-Times last week reported that as of Aug. 9 – a week or so prior to Johnican's release -- 43 people charged with murder were on electronic monitoring. That number was 40-percent more than those charged with murder on electronic monitoring exactly a year earlier.