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No Bond For Suspect Charged in Slaying of Elderly Hyde Park Man

By Anthonia Akitunde in News on Dec 26, 2009 7:30PM

Chicago police photo of Lee Cration via Sun-Times
A judge denied bond to a Joliet man charged with the first-degree murder of an elderly Hyde Park man who was picking up dinner for his waiting family on Christmas Eve, the Sun-Times reports.

Along with the first-degree murder charge, Lee Cration, 48, was also charged with attempted robbery. The murder of 79-year-old Ralph Elliott was another act of violence committed by a man who had just received parole last year after two decades in prison for a 1984 murder.

According to the Tribune, Elliott had just finished decorating his home for the grand Christmas Eve party he and his wife had at their place for the last 50 years. He volunteered to pick up his favorite chicken at Popeye's in Bronzeville for the dinner. Police say Elliott had just loaded his car with the food at around 4 p.m. "when a man waiting for Elliott to emerge from the restaurant tried to rob him," the report said.

In the ensuing scuffle, the man shot Elliott twice (once in the face and once in his shoulder), went through his pockets and ran off, the Tribune reports. After combing the area for someone that matched the description eyewitnesses gave, police found him. The suspect had a handgun and "witnesses identified him as the man they'd seen earlier."

Elliott was a beloved member of his community. Although the Elliotts had no children of their own, they were very close to their nieces, nephews, and godchildren. The Elliotts, who were civil rights activists and community volunteers, also had the respect of Rev. Jesse Jackson who said justice must prevail.

"This kind of behavior must be deterred. It cannot go unpunished," Jackson said.

Cration, whose history of violence includes 16 assaults and disturbances while in prison, will appear before Violence Court on Monday, the Sun-Times reports.

[Sun-Times], [Trib]