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Arrest Made in Last Friday's Fatal Shooting of James Span

1/23/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

North Precinct detectives today charged Joseph D. Smith, 51, with criminal homicide for last Friday’s fatal shooting of James Span in an alley behind an apartment in the 800 block of Taylor Street.

According to witnesses, Span, 51, and the suspect got into an argument inside the apartment and were both asked to leave. A short time later, gunshots were heard. Responding officers found Span in the driver’s seat of a Dodge minivan. He died at the scene.

Smith, who is homeless, was convicted of second degree murder in 1988. His last arrest was in March 2019 for trespassing after he was observed urinating on an exterior wall of a Middleton Street business clearly posted with “No Trespassing” signs.

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Joseph D. Smith, 51