18-year-old held without bail on first-degree murder charge in connection with fatal shooting in South Shore home invasion

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An 18-year-old man accused of first-degree murder in connection with a home invasion in South Shore that ended in a fatal shooting Tuesday was ordered held without bail by a judge Thursday.

Timothy Wynn, of Chicago, was charged with one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of home invasion with a firearm.

In Illinois, a person can be charged with first-degree murder even if the death was directly caused by someone else and there was no intention to kill. The law is meant to deter people from crimes that could result in someone’s death.

Wynn was arrested Tuesday morning after he was identified as one of at least three masked men who allegedly broke into an apartment in the 7500 block of South Saginaw Avenue in South Shore about 5:30 a.m. the same day, according to Chicago police. It was Wynn’s gun that was used in the fatal shooting.

Authorities responded to the apartment and found a man unresponsive on the living room floor. The man, later identified as Ben Sims, 36, by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, had been shot in the chest. Sims, who was a resident of the home, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after the break-in.

Cook County Assistant State Attorney James Murphy said Sims was getting ready for work and his wife, who was unnamed, was asleep when Sims heard knocks at the door and looked out the peephole to find it was being covered up. Sims woke up his wife and asked her to call 911 and then saw the peephole was no longer being covered. Sims stepped outside the apartment, looked down a stairwell and saw three young men dressed in black hoodies, black pants and black masks.

Sims again told his wife to call 911 but before she could call, the men kicked in the door and entered the apartment. He then charged at the men, and one of the men who was holding a gun fired the weapon at Sims before accidentally shooting himself, the prosecutor said. The three men then left Sims’ apartment, and it is believed they went to another apartment that was directly below Sims’ apartment based on a blood trail between the two units. Chicago police officers arrived on scene, and all three men plus a fourth person who was in the second apartment were arrested.

According to Wynn’s statement, the person who was holding the gun and fired it was also the one whose idea it was to go to Sims’ apartment and who kicked the door in because he said, “the dude took something from him.” Wynn had allegedly brought his gun and given it to the man who then fatally shot Sims.

A 9 mm firearm was recovered, among other items, from the second apartment where the men were arrested.

The prosecutor said Wynn’s release from custody would be “a real or present threat” to any person because if Wynn hadn’t brought his gun to the apartment, Sims would not have died.

The other men have not yet been charged in connection with the break-in, the prosecutor said.

Wynn is next scheduled to appear in court Oct. 13.

sahmad@chicagotribune.com

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