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A man linked to a shooting at a Matteson smoking store that killed 1, wounded 1, has been denied bail – Chicago Tribune


A Cook County judge denied the release on bail of a Park Forest man accused of opening fire at a smoking shop in a southern suburb last week, killing one person and injuring another.

Ephraim Leighton faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges Wednesday night shooting at the Exotic Smoke Shop in Mathesan. The second armed man remained at large.

Authorities say 18-year-old Robert Triplet of Chicago Heights was killed in the shooting. According to prosecutors, the second victim, who is also 18 years old, received multiple gunshot wounds and as of Sunday remained hospitalized.

Authorities did not name possible motives for the shooting, but said the victims and defendants knew each other.

Prosecutors said video surveillance of the store caught Leighton and another gunman pulling out a gun and opening fire on both victims who were trying to escape.

Leitan’s lawyer argued for possible self-defense, pointing out that a pistol had been found in one of the victim’s cars, and asked the judge to take into account his lack of experience. The prosecutor’s office noted that none of the victims was armed when they were shot.

As prosecutors have not yet determined which gunshot killed and wounded the victims, Judge Barbara Lynette Dawkins said the mandatory “no bail” requirement did not apply, but granted the prosecutor’s second request, deeming Leighton a danger to victims and the public.

Leighton is due back in court on Wednesday.


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