2 demoted after jail shooting
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
by FRANK MAIN AND MAUREEN O'DONNELL
Heads rolled in the sheriff's office Monday as investigators probed a Cook County Jail shooting so bizarre it could be an episode on "Law & Order.''
Sheriff Michael Sheahan demoted the superintendent and the chief of the jail's maximum-security Division 11, where three inmates in the same cell suffered minor bullet wounds Wednesday night from a smuggled gun.
"There has been a shakeup of upper management at Division 11," said sheriff's spokeswoman Sally Daly.
Investigators suspect the three inmates -- Gregory Sherman, Terry Martin and Lorenzo Evans -- arranged to have themselves shot by a fourth inmate, law enforcement sources said. They may have been plotting a lawsuit against the jail, sources said. All four could face charges in the scheme as early as today, sources said.
Randi White, a 21-year-old woman accused of smuggling the .32-caliber revolver into the jail, concealed it in her pants during a Jan. 26 visit, passing it to Sherman by tampering with the partition that separates inmates from guests, said prosecutor Brian Holmes.
Meanwhile, two other people -- including a guard -- were charged Monday with smuggling other contraband into the jail.
How weapon was passed
In court Monday, Holmes said White "unscrewed the visiting cage mouthpiece . . . and proceeded to hand the revolver to Mr. Sherman.''
Wan and lank-haired, White, appearing via a TV monitor, swayed slightly as Judge Thomas Hennelly set her bond at $500,000.
Daly offered a slightly different description of the alleged gun smuggling. "We believe they unscrewed a plate where the phone was on the wall and passed the contraband through the opening," Daly said.
The plot was well thought-out, said a source close to the investigation. During her jail visit, White asked to see an inmate named Slaughter in an apparent bid to confuse authorities, the source said. "There's no connection as far as [Slaughter] being involved'' with the shooting, according to the source. "They got his name to throw the sheriff off the scent.'' Instead, White met up with Sherman, Holmes said.
Guard accused of smuggling
Investigators are checking whether White passed through metal detectors with the gun, said Daly. Officials are close to figuring out how the .32-caliber FIE Titanic revolver landed in the hands of White, she said.
White is the girlfriend of Sherman's brother, Daly said. White has a toddler, according to a public defender. The baby's uncle is Gregory Sherman, according to a White friend, Donna Navarro.
"It's so shocking. The girl is smart. I don't know why she would do something like this,'' said Navarro, White's former roommate. "It's either she was really, really, really in love, or she was pressured.''
Two more people are accused of supplying contraband to at least one of the wounded inmates.
Guard Charles Marose, 32, an eight-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was charged Monday with official misconduct -- a felony -- for allegedly smuggling cigarettes and liquor into the jail for at least one of the three wounded inmates prior to the shooting.
Marose's bond was set at $150,000. He sold cigarettes to an inmate five times last month for $20 a pack, said prosecutor David Navarro.
He also sold vodka to the same inmate twice, at $50 a bottle, David Navarro said.
The officer allegedly admitted to prosecutors that he smuggled the items, as well as clothing and food to a different inmate. Additional charges were expected against Marose, prosecutors said.
Carolyn Roscoe, 18, of the 8300 block of South Phillips, is charged with bringing marijuana into the jail between mid-2005 and January for Terry Martin, one of the wounded inmates. She hid pot in straws placed in her waistband, prosecutors said. Bond was set at $60,000 for Roscoe, who is to appear in court Feb. 27.
Investigators are probing why new jail sensors designed to detect pot, tobacco and other banned substances apparently did not go off when Marose and Roscoe were smuggling contraband, Daly said.
Suspect was engaged
The smuggled gun was manufactured in Florida in 1971 and shipped to a trading company in Ohio, which sold the weapon to Gary Loan and Mercantile Co. Inc. in Gary, Ind., said Thomas Ahern of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 1972, a woman bought the weapon at that store, Ahern said. He could not immediately trace the weapon's path further.
White used to work at a North Side McDonald's, Donna Navarro said. More recently, she worked at an AMC movie theater, and she was enrolled at Olympia College, which trains students for careers in the m edical field, according to Donna Navarro and the public defender's office.
White is to appear in court again Wednesday.
"Her mom is sickly. She has a little brother, and he looks up to her,'' Donna Navarro said. "What makes it worse is she has a baby.
"They were going to get married. She had an engagement ring.''