Metro-East News

Judge reduces armed robbery suspect’s bond by half, but he’s still in custody

A 21-year-old man accused of robbing two men at gunpoint remained in custody Wednesday morning after a judge reduced his $200,000 bail by half.

Prosecutors say Marquise Chairs, 21, and his codefendant Jermane Hunt, 25, robbed a man at gunpoint at a Belleville gas station Dec. 29, before robbing another man at gunpoint in the man’s home the same day. Both victims told police they knew at least one of the two men.

Chairs’ attorney, Joslyn Anthony, asked Judge Randall Kelley in court Tuesday to reduce the $200,000 bail.

She told Kelley that the 21-year-old graduate of East St. Louis High School had an official visit to a college in Springfield weeks before his arrest and was not a flight risk. The defense attorney noted that even a reduced bond of $30,000 would be “outside of what the family indicated they could afford.”

Prosecutor Jason Emmanuel argued against the bond reduction request, saying Chairs was accused of “taking drugs and money from drug dealers” and noting the risk associated with brandishing guns at a gas station.

Kelley then reduced the bond from $200,000 to $100,000 — which means Chairs would have to post $10,000 for his release.

Chairs was arrested after police chased him, Hunt and another man into St. Louis and then back into East St. Louis, where three men jumped from the vehicle and ran.

All three were initially taken into custody; one was not charged.