A Cook County judge denied bail for a Park Forest man accused of opening fire at a south suburban smoke shop, killing one man and injuring another last week.
Ephram Layton faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges connected to the Wednesday night shooting at the Exotic Smoke Shop in Matteson. A second gunman remained at large.
Killed in the shooting was Robert Triplett, 18, of Chicago Heights, according to authorities. The second victim, also 18, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and remained hospitalized as of Sunday, according to prosecutors.
During a bail hearing broadcast on YouTube, authorities offered no possible motive for the shooting, but gave indications that the victims and the defendants knew one another.
The store’s video surveillance captured Layton and a second gunman pulling out handguns and opening fire on both victims, who attempted to flee, prosecutors said.
Layton’s defense attorney argued for possible self-defense, pointing out that a handgun was found in one of the victim’s vehicles, and asked the judge to consider his lack of a criminal background. Prosecutors noted that neither victim was armed when they were shot.
Because prosecutors hadn’t yet determined which gunmen’s shot killed and wounded the victims, Judge Barbara Lynette Dawkins said a mandatory “no bail” request didn’t apply, but she granted prosecutors’ second request, finding Layton to be a danger to the victims and the public.
Layton is scheduled to return to court Wednesday.