Web Extra! Updated 6/19/2009 12:46 p.m.
On the morning that family and friends gathered at a Hillside funeral home to pay their respects to 18-year-old John Ollech, a circuit court judge heard first-degree murder charges against two teens suspected of killing the young man for an unknown quantity of marijuana.
Quavortis Harris, 18, and Joseph E. McKinnis, 17, were both charged with Ollech’s murder. A single count of armed robbery was also filed against each teen.
During their bond hearing this morning in Cook County Circuit Court, prosecutors fingered Harris as the triggerman in what was a drug deal gone bad. The suspects allegedly called Ollech and asked to buy marijuana from him, a court prosecutor said. When Ollech arrived, the duo decided instead to rob the Forest Park teen.
McKinnis served as the lookout while Harris got into the car with Ollech and acquired the drugs. Harris reportedly did not pay for the marijuana, and when Ollech got out of the car to confront the two, Harris shot Ollech in the chest.
The suspects were taken into custody just one day after Ollech was shot to death Sunday, June 14, according to Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry. Felony charges were filed yesterday and the suspects made a joint court appearance Friday morning.
A judge ordered Harris held without bail, as requested by the prosecution. McKinnis was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond.
“Apparently the motive seemed to be robbery,” Curry said of the shooting.
Prosecutors said the suspects confessed to their involvement in the crime.
Ollech was found semi-conscious at about 3 a.m. June 14 after driving his Chevrolet Suburban off the road near the 2100 block of Bataan Drive in Maywood. Police and rescue officials didn’t immediately recognize that Ollech was suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Doctors at Loyola University Medical Center noticed the small puncture. An autopsy performed the following day confirmed that it was the bullet that took Ollech’s life.
Not 30 minutes after McKinnis and Harris appeared in court, hundreds gathered at a funeral home in Hillside to offer condolences to Ollech’s family, including his father, Bob. Ollech’s mother, Marianne, died of lung cancer during her son’s freshman year of high school.
Ollech was a lifelong resident of the 800 block of Ferdinand in Forest Park, and his family had settled in the community more than four decades ago.
Harris is a resident of the 1600 block of S. 18th Avenue in Maywood, said Curry, and McKinnis lives on the 7200 block of S. Champlain in Chicago. According to Curry, the suspects have an “affiliation” with the Gangster Disciples street gang. There was no mention of alleged gang affiliations during the suspects’ hearing.