No bail for man charged in Portage Park triple murder


CHICAGO — The man charged with committing a triple murder in the Portage Park neighborhood last weekend was ordered held without bail Wednesday.

Samuel Parsons-Salas, 32, faces three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated battery and one count of kidnapping in connection with the early Sunday shooting in the 5500 block of West School Street.

During his initial court hearing Wednesday, a prosecutor said Parsons-Salas committed the shooting after a fight broke out inside the Vera Lounge, a nearby bar that was hosting a birthday party for one of the victims — a 26-year-old woman who was later shot in the head and critically wounded.

Killed in the shooting were the woman’s father, 50-year-old Ricky Vera, 26-year-old Mario Pozuelos and 24-year-old Mercedes Tavares.

The woman who survived the shooting remains hospitalized. A bullet shattered parts of her skull, prosecutors said.

After the shooting, Parsons-Salas forced his girlfriend to drive to an apartment on Montrose Avenue, and he threatened to shoot her if she left the building, according to prosecutors. Parsons-Salas took her coat and also destroyed her cellphone.

Security footage from a nearby building captured the shooting, and several witnesses identified Parsons-Salas as the shooter, according to prosecutors.

Parsons-Salas is scheduled to appear in court again next month.

Court records show Parsons-Salas was released from prison last September, four years after he reached a plea deal with prosecutors in a 2009 double murder in the Albany Park neighborhood.

Though he initially faced a host of charges —10 counts of murder, 4 counts of armed home invasion, 2 counts of armed robbery, 16 counts of burglary, and 2 counts of aggravated unlawful restraint — Parsons-Salas pleaded guilty to two counts of home invasion, court records show. His co-defendant was sentenced to life in prison.

The judge in the case, Mauricio Araujo, sentenced Parsons-Salas to eight years in prison in September 2018, court records show. Records from the Illinois Department of Corrections say Parsons-Salas was released from custody last September. IDOC also designated him as an absconder.

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