A wanted North Chicago man who skipped his sentencing hearing, where he received 21 years in prison for possessing a gun as a felon, has been arrested after his wife was killed last weekend.
Giovanni M. Smith, 33, of North Chicago, was arrested on July 4, 2021, after police responded to a 911 call for a person with a gun.
The caller reported a person jumped out of a car in North Chicago while armed with a handgun.
The armed person, later identified as Smith, was reportedly chasing down another person in the street, prosecutors said.
Officers located Smith minutes later and the gun was recovered in the center console of the vehicle he was driving, prosecutors said.
He was charged with one count of armed habitual criminal, a Class X felony, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, a Class 2 felony.
Smith was originally ordered held on a $100,000 bond but later had his bond reduced to $50,000 during a bond review hearing. He was released after posting 10% of the bond.
A jury trial began in the case in early August and lasted three days.
Smith attended most of the trial and did not testify. Several state witnesses, including law enforcement and the 911 caller, testified.
The trial concluded with the jury returning guilty verdicts for both charges.
Smith did not return to court for the reading of the verdict. A warrant carrying no bond was issued for the man.
Assistant State’s Attorney Ruth Lofthouse asked Lake County Judge Patricia Fix to sentence Smith to 20 years in prison.
Fix sentenced Smith to 21 years in prison during a sentencing hearing in September.
On Saturday, police arrested Smith in Northbrook after he left the area from a fatal crash involving his wife, Colette Smith, 31, of Des Plaines.
Illinois State Police said Colette Smith was struck by two vehicles on Interstate 294 at mile marker 46.5 near Glenview around 1 a.m. that day.
A white passenger vehicle struck the woman and fled the scene, state police said.
A FedEx semi-truck also struck the woman, who was pronounced dead. The truck remained at the scene.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Nic Attia said Giovanni Smith was the driver of the white sedan and that his wife had also been in the car prior to the incident, the Patch reported.
Attia said Colette Smith was either pushed out of the vehicle or exited it during a domestic violence situation with Giovanni Smith.
Officers tracked down Giovanni Smith and found him in possession of a stolen defaced gun along with a loaded magazine, Attia said.
Giovanni Smith was transported to the Cook County Jail where he remains held.
He has not been charged yet with his wife’s death but has been charged with possessing the stolen gun and injuring an officer during his arrest, records show.