The Chicago man charged with killing police officer Ella French over the weekend received probation in 2019 after pleading guilty to robbing a man that year, according to local reports.
Monty Morgan, formally known as “Emonte,” is charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of two other officers, unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice.
On Aug. 8, 2019, Morgan arranged to meet a 36-year-old man in Chicago to purchase his $900 iPhone, CWB Chicago reported. At the meeting, the man alleged that Morgan took the phone and ran away without paying.
A physical altercation ensued in a parking lot. The man repeatedly punched Morgan, who fought back, police said. A passerby intervened, helping detain Morgan until police arrived, according to the report.
Morgan, 21, was charged with felony theft and misdemeanor battery. He pleaded guilty to one count of robbery last November in exchange for two-year probation, according to court records cited by CWB Chicago.
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That probation was still in effect at the time of Saturday’s shooting. Records show that prosecutors filed a motion for violation of probation in May.
Morgan’s brother, Eric Morgan, also had a criminal history. In June 2018, he and another person were charged with robbing four people of $180 in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. He later pleaded guilty to felony theft.
The Morgan brothers were pulled over in an SUV Saturday evening because of an expired plate. They initially followed the officers’ instructions, handing over the vehicle’s keys and getting out of the SUV.
But the situation escalated after Monty Morgan refused to set down a drink and cellphone he was holding, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said at a bond hearing for Monty Morgan on Tuesday.
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Murphy said Monty Morgan gave a statement on video in which he admitted to drinking, having a gun, and opening fire on two officers. An initial court appearance is set for Aug. 16.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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