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Man Held Without Bond In Jewelry Supplier's Beating Death

CHICAGO (STMW) -- A Chicago man is being held without bond Thursday after being charged with the fatal beating a jewelry supply business owner during a home invasion last month on the Northwest Side.

Leszek Pawelkowski, 41, is charged with one count each of murder and home invasion armed with a firearm for the Oct. 27 incident in the Sauganash neighborhood, which claimed the life of Shai Miller, according to police.

Pawelkowski was identified from a fingerprint found on duct tape at the scene of the crime, prosecutors said in court.

In court on Thursday, Judge Donald Panarese ordered Pawelkowski, of the 3100 block of North Hamlin Avenue, held without bond and set a preliminary hearing for Dec. 7, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokesman Andy Conklin.

The home invasion happened about 9 p.m. when Pawelkowski and an unknown co-defendant armed with handguns forced their way into the home at 6312 N. Kildare Ave. They first struck Miller, then bound the bleeding man and his teen son with duct tape, Conklin said, citing court records.

The two suspects ransacked the house for about 20 minutes, taking silverware, a painting, a large amount of cash which Miller had on hand to pay for a large purchase he was planning, prosecutors allege.

At one point while bound, Miller made a noise and one of the suspects kicked him several times. The boy, 14, wasn't hurt, but Miller was hospitalized in critical condition with "massive brain trauma." He died Nov. 2.

An autopsy determined Miller, 57,  died of multiple injuries in an assault, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. His death was ruled a homicide.

Miller was president of Miller's Jewelry Supply at 5 S. Wabash Ave.

Miller's son was able to positively identify Pawelkowski in both a photo and a physical lineup, prosecutors said.

Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said police are still seeking at least one other suspect.

"They have not closed the case,'' Zala said.

Grand Central Area detectives are investigating.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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