The Crusader Newspaper Group

Dashonn Maggette’s trial delayed as more details emerge in cop case

Dashonn Maggette, the Chicago man who spent six years in jail without a trial, will have to wait longer for his day in court.

Maggette’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday, June 12. But on that day, Maggette learned his trial was pushed back to June 26.

Sources told the Crusader a witness for prosecutors experienced “a medical emergency” and they had to push the trial back to a later date.

Fiona Ortiz, deputy of communications for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, confirmed that Maggette’s trial was delayed to June 26. When asked if the delay was caused by a witness’ medical emergency, Ortiz said she would get back to the Crusader. She did not respond by press time Wednesday, June 14, for the print edition.

It was at least the eighth time the trial had been delayed for Maggette, who has maintained his innocence after being charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery on Chicago Police Officers Patrick Forbes and Michael Hudson in 2017, following a scuffle inside an apartment building in Chatham. Maggette has been in jail ever since.

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Dashonn Maggette

Maggette and a group of friends were hanging out outside an apartment building in the 8100 block of S. Maryland when a police cruiser drove by. Maggette, who was violating his curfew after completing parole for a drug conviction in 2016, ran into an apartment building.

Forbes and Hudson followed him up several flights of stairs. Maggette suffered three gunshot wounds after Forbes fired three shots on the third floor. Both officers said Maggette had a gun and shot Hudson in the hand.

After the shooting, Forbes pursued Maggette outside the building where Hudson told the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) that an onlooker placed a tourniquet on his hand to stop it from bleeding. After running and fighting Forbes in front of the building, Maggette collapsed and remained on the ground until police arrived on the scene.

Hudson was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Forbes was not shot.

Maggette told the Crusader one gunshot struck him in the shoulder, while the other hit him in the elbow and grazed him in the back. Maggette said he never had a gun and did not shoot Hudson in the hand as the officers allege. Maggette alleges the third bullet that Forbes fired struck Hudson in the hand.

Maggette said he believes the officer planted the gun on him. Maggette learned through his public defender that a ballistics test report ruled out the gun that officers allege he had used to shoot Hudson.

Maggette tried to get a copy of the ballistics report, but Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Lawrence Flood, a former Chicago police officer, has kept the document sealed from the media, public and even Maggette since 2017.

If convicted, Maggette, 37, could get life in prison considering his past criminal record. He has a daughter Da’Sanni, who turned 13 in May.

According to COPA, the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) ambulance report said Maggette had been shot four times, including two to the right arm and one to the right armpit, which did not have a corresponding exit wound. COPA did not say what part of Maggette’s body the alleged fourth bullet hit.

Maggette was taken to Cook County Stroger Hospital for treatment.

Text messages of that June 3 night reveal emotional and chaotic moments for Maggette’s siblings.

The Crusader obtained screenshots of text messages by Maggette’s oldest brother Terrance Maggette, who said at the time Dashonn was on a life support ventilator. A text message on June 5 says he was taken off life support, two days after the incident happened on June 3, 2017. But the Crusader has been unable to confirm this, and COPA doesn’t mention it in its report.

Lakeisha Maggette, Dashonn’s second oldest sibling, told the Crusader she, Terrance and other siblings were in the waiting room at Stroger Hospital the night Dashonn was admitted.

“They wouldn’t allow us to see him because he was still in police custody,” Lakeisha told the Crusader. “The doctor said his face was bloody and beaten; they initially believed he was shot in the face. But they couldn’t find an entry and exit wound. There were signs that police beat him that night.”

A cell phone video the Crusader obtained shows a police officer striking Dashonn in the face outside the apartment’s front door before Dashonn struck him back.

Forbes and Hudson gave their accounts of the incident in separate interviews with COPA following the shooting. But a story by CBS2 Chicago on August 8, 2017, reported details that neither officer told COPA.

The report, published on Dashonn’s 31st birthday, said after he was shot, Maggette jumped on Forbes’ back, and tried to tackle him. That report also said Forbes chased the suspect out of the building, into a gated area at another apartment building, and held him there until other officers arrived.

That same CBS2 Chicago story reported that Officers Forbes and Hudson were named Officers of the Month by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation for their “bravery” for apprehending Maggette.

“We commend these officers for their courageous work that evening, and are proud to call them our Officers of the Month,” Executive Director Phil Cline said.

In that story, Hudson said after he was shot, he received “a lot of help from his wife and my child,” while trying to do chores around the house. He also said “There’s officers out there every day putting their lives on the line, and some don’t make it back, you know? And here I am accepting this award, and it truly is an honor to be here on their behalf.”

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