By Rosemary Regina Sobol and Bridget Doyle
2:27 PM CST, January 19, 2013
Two men were denied bail today, accused in the slaying and robbery of a 41-year-old Melrose Park woman Tuesday night.
Marquis L. Byrd, 26, and Jeffrey J. Cooper, 18, appeared Saturday for a bond hearing where a judge denied to set bail. The pair are expected to appear in court again on Jan. 23 at the Maywood Courthouse.
Byrd and Cooper have been charged with three counts each of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking each, Melrose Park Chief of Police Sam Pitassi said in a release.
Byrd, of the 2100 block of 16th Avenue in Broadview, and Cooper, of the 1800 block of 15th Avenue in Melrose Park, are both slated to appear for a bond hearing Saturday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Pitassi said in the release.
Maricela Vera, 41, was standing outside her car in her garage on the 1800 block of North 21st Avenue when a gunman stole her purse and shot her about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, said Melrose Park spokesman Gary Mack.
Vera was pronounced dead about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday after being taken to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park by paramedics, Mack said.
A neighbor likely called after hearing shots fired and police responded to a robbery in progress, Mack said.
"Her car was running as if she was preparing to leave the garage," Mack said.
No one else was hurt.
An autopsy Wednesday determined Vera died of a gunshot wound to the face and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
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