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Prosecutors: Slain judge's girlfriend was robbery target

CHICAGO -- A man charged in the shooting death of a Chicago judge told detectives that he and his partner were trying to rob the judge’s girlfriend, who was wounded in the attack, prosecutors said Thursday.

Joshua T. Smith, 37, gave a videotaped statement to police in which he said his partner watched the movements of Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles’ girlfriend for several weeks before Monday morning’s robbery attempt. Myles, 66, was killed in the shooting. His girlfriend was shot in the leg and is expected to survive.

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Smith drove a vehicle into an alley near the judge’s home on the city’s South Side and his partner, who is on the run and whose name hasn’t been released, got out to wait for the girlfriend, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said. When she came out, the gunman shot her in the leg and grabbed her gym bag, Lisuzzo said.

Myles apparently heard the gunshot and came out on his back porch and confronted the gunman, who then shot Myles. Smith told detectives the men fled with the woman’s gym bag but the gunman tossed it in anger when it didn’t contain any money, prosecutors said.

DuPage County Judge Robert A. Miller was brought in to handle Thursday’s bond hearing to avoid a conflict of interest because of Myles’ ties to the Cook County court building. Miller ordered Smith held without bond.

Authorities identified Smith as the getaway driver. He is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and obstruction. Police still are searching for the gunman. The FBI is working with Chicago police on the investigation into Myles’ shooting, and is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the case.

Smith’s attorney, assistant public defender Kristina Yi, asked the judge to set bond. She argued that Smith wasn’t accused of firing gunshots and called the evidence against him circumstantial. Yi said Smith turned himself in to the police and described him as “a positive and contributing citizen” who co-owns a business and has two teenage children.

Myles’ 52-year-old girlfriend’s name has not been released because police say she is a witness in the killing.

Myles received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. He was appointed to the court in 1999. Circuit court judges appointed him an associate judge in 2001 and Myles had served in the criminal division since 2009, according Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

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