Law enforcement sources warn that the “mutual combat” designation could lead to more wanton and brazen acts of violence
Five men linked to a deadly gang-related shootout in Austin were released from custody after prosecutors declined to charge each of them with a pair of felonies, including first-degree murder, determining that the evidence against them was insufficient and citing a legal term known as mutual combat, which defines a fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. As the city grapples with a spate of rolling shootouts that have erupted over the past week, law enforcement sources raised concerns that the rejection could encourage more such violence.
The brazen mid-morning gunfight, which left one shooter dead and two of the suspects wounded, stemmed from an internal dispute between two factions of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang. Police sought to charge all five suspects with murder and aggravated battery. The police report acknowledged that victims of the shootout weren’t cooperating with investigators, which may have contributed to the prosecutor’s decision. Cook County prosecutors came under fire after reportedly making a similar argument after a teenager was stabbed to death during a fight in suburban Schaumburg. prosecutors specifically said they weren’t charging the 17-year-old suspect with murder because the fatal fight amounted to mutual combat.
Source: The Crime Report https://thecrimereport.org/2021/10/04/five-suspects-in-gangland-gun-fight-avoid-charges-due-to-lack-of-evidence/