A Chicago family is angry at the “professional squatters” who have taken over their dead mother’s house
A family is at odds with a “professional squatter” with a long criminal history who has taken over their dead mother’s home and has refused to leave for the past six months.
Chicago resident Darthula Young revealed her family’s predicament this week, calling ex-convict Taketo Murray a “professional fraud” for staying at her late mother’s home in Chatham since September.
Explaining the increasingly common ordeal in a sit-down interview, Young said she became aware of Murray’s scheme days after her mother’s death, and arrived at the longtime senior’s duplex to find a bullet hole in the front window.
Upon closer inspection, Young will soon realize that the locks on the two-story duplex apartment that have been in her family for generations have also changed.
Eventually, Young would realize that Murray was the culprit, taking advantage of her mother’s death to pass over the house she had owned for over 30 years.
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The two-story home in Chatham—shown here—has been illegally scammed since September
Ex-convict Taketo Murai, a career criminal who has been chained for drug and gun offenses at least six times since 2017, moved illegally in September and has since refused to leave.
Talking to CBS ChicagoSince reaching that realization, Young says, police have remained unacceptable to her and her relatives in the ongoing struggle to remove Murray, telling her she would need to wait more than half a year for the city’s crime-ridden court system to properly process the offense.
“It was a nightmare,” Young said of the city’s reluctance to forcibly relocate Murray, a career felon who has been chained for drug and gun-related offenses at least six times since 2017 and was apparently shot inside the apartment at one point. After moving on.
“On September 23rd, I got a call from neighbors to say there was a shooting in the building — and when I went into the building and put my key in, it didn’t work,” Young told reporter Charlie DeMar on Thursday. .
The person who was shot in the apartment – this man is called Taketo Murai – has returned from the hospital, and has informed us and the police that he now lives there, and that he has rights.
“He was a professional.”
Young will then reveal that, as with most random incidents, Illinois law largely forbids her and her relatives from taking any action against the unwelcome guest.
Darthula Young revealed her family’s predicament this week, describing an ex-convict who has been staying at her late mother’s home since September as a “professional” con.
A Chicago resident said Young’s mother left the house vacant (shown here) after her death last year
Laws in the notoriously progressive Prairie state currently prevent her family from using force Remove the tenant, or turn off the utilities of the duplex home until an appropriate court order is issued.
Experts estimate such an order could take up to eight months, given the recent crime spree since the pandemic, which in turn has ensnared city courts.
Officials, including progressive mayor Lori Lightfoot, have promised to quell the crime epidemic, but have largely proven unsuccessful — despite a recent sudden policy change that saw her drop plans to defund the city’s police force.
But crime is currently up nearly 50% from the same period last year in the Windy City, and nearly 100% from 2021 – a year hailed as one of the city’s worst in decades.
Perhaps most obvious is the continued high rate of robbery and crime by armed offenders, which have increased dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts estimate such an order could take up to eight months, given the recent wave of crime since the pandemic, which in turn has ensnared city courts.
The city’s inability to address Young’s predicament comes as an indication of the city’s ongoing struggles, and serves as a The latest blow to the waning image of the city embattled under Lightfoot, who since taking office in late 2019 has seen crime rise to historic levels.
With rapidly rising rents and homelessness also an issue, slum cases are on the rise – mainly due to the fact that repeat offenders like Murray know they can live rent-free for months.
That said, Young, who has hired a lawyer to assist her case as she makes her way through the city’s sprawling court system, says Murray has told her repeatedly that he plans to move soon.
Every time I’ve been there, he tells me he’s leaving in two weeks. He will leave in two weeks. “He just can’t find a place,” she said.
CBS Chicago reportedly confronted Murray outside the home earlier in the week, in an interaction that saw the former con unabashedly admit to trespassing on the elderly woman’s home — claiming he was paying rent to one of Young’s siblings.
“So you acknowledge that it was her mother’s building—that her mother owned it?” Reporter Charlie de Mar asked Murray about the supposed arrangement.
Murray replied, “Yes, I think I concede—her mother and siblings, that was their building.”
However, Young argues otherwise, saying that neither she nor any of her relatives ever came to such an arrangement.
She adds that the city, apart from being unable to take immediate action against the squatters, refused to shut off the water in the home, leaving Young responsible for a still-flourishing $1,300 bill.
Young says that for the past seven months she and her family have tried to blockade the city to evict Murray, but have been repeatedly told to wait for an official order.
Michael Zinke, a tenant landlord attorney not involved in the case, told CBS that Young’s problem is not uncommon, and that evictions of squatters in packed cities like Chicago and New York can take up to eight months through the legal system.
“The problem the police face is when they appear on a scene like this, they don’t know who is telling the truth,” the lawyer explained.
He added that the squat situation in Chicago—where the average one-bedroom rent is more than $2,200—is especially on the rise, and that the courts will need time to catch up with the growing line of offenders.
Earlier this month, squatters invaded the home of another deceased woman in Chatham — just blocks from Youngs’ mother’s home — and are said to still be living there illegally.
As for Young, she said she would be back in court in two weeks – hoping to resolve the issue.
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