Following a family party downtown on June 10, murder victim Dwight Jones invited a Chicago man to his south suburban home for a drink, but police said the man was only interested in a potential robbery.
Charges were filed Tuesday against Rodney A. Julun, 22, of Chicago, in connection with the on the 13000 block of 184th Place in New Lenox Township. Jones, 59, was found four days after his family last saw him, bludgeoned in the head with a lamp and decomposed beyond recognition.
Julun is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, three counts of residential burglary, one count of robbery and one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. His bail was set today at $5 million.
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ken Kaupas said Jones, who was an intake specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, left a family event Friday evening and struck up a conversation with Julun on the South Side of Chicago. Jones invited Julun to his home in New Lenox Township, and the two traveled together in Jones’ car. Kaupas said the two never had any previous contact.
“We believe Julun saw an opportunity to commit a robbery,” Kaupas said.
Sheriff’s investigators conducted numerous interviews that led them to Julun, who was picked up in Chicago late last week and questioned. He was subsequently charged with a probation violation and detained at the Will County Jail while the investigation unfolded. Kaupas said that multiple sources told police they saw Julun driving in Jones’ stolen VW Jetta, which was found abandoned in Harvey last week.
Investigators located two other people who police say had knowledge of the homicide: John H. White, 20, and David D. Reed, 23, both of Chicago. Kaupas said that White and Reed, while questioned by police, accused Julun of committing the murder.
Kaupas said Julun then contacted Reed and White, and over the following two days they proceeded to steal numerous items, including Jones’ car, electronics, cash and jewelry.
“The home was ransacked,” Kaupas said. “We continued to recover more items even as of today, items pawned by these three individuals.”
Both White and Reed were charged with residential burglary and bail for each was set at $250,000. Sheriff's investigators do not believe White or Reed participated in the killing, but they could face additional charges of concealing a homicidal death.
Jones’ family had not heard from him since seeing him that Friday night, June 10, and after he missed a family party on June 14 they went to his home to investigate. They immediately contacted police after finding the patio door unlocked and a peculiar odor coming from the house. According to Jones’ cousin, Gail Page, the family buried him last Thursday.
“Dwight enjoyed family, which is why the family knew something was wrong when he did not show up for a family event,” Page said in an email. “He had no children of his own, but he helped raise a lot of children and was godfather to several. Dwight was a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin, a brother, a friend and so much more. He was diligent in taking care of his mother.”
Co-workers from Northwestern Memorial Hospital also shared memories in the comments of a previous article.
“Dwight greeted and received his patients and their families with dignity, respect and a warm smile just as he did with his coworkers,” former co-worker Donna Hawkins said. “I worked with him for 11 years and I will miss him dearly.”
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