Federal prosecutors say this still from surveillance footage depicts Adam Walton (left) entering an Old Navy at Marshfield Plaza on May 31, 2020. | U.S. District Court records

Adam Walton’s defense attorney tried earlier this year to challenge the federal case against him, denying that Walton told officers about the gun. But the defense attorney dropped the challenge after prosecutors disclosed that Walton had been recorded acknowledging the comment.

A Chicago man accused of looting a South Side clothing store in May 2020 pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to illegally possessing a firearm as a felon.

Adam Walton, 41, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at his sentencing hearing, which is set for Dec. 6. He entered his plea during a video hearing before U.S. District Judge Sara Ellis.

Prosecutors say Walton joined several other people in looting an Old Navy in Marshfield Plaza at 117th Street and Marshfield Avenue around 11:45 p.m. on May 31, 2020. He entered through the front door while broken glass and merchandise were strewn about, according to the feds.

Walton allegedly spent more than two minutes in the store and collected “a large armful of clothing.”

U.S. District Court records
Federal prosecutors say this still from surveillance footage depicts Adam Walton collecting merchandise inside an Old Navy in Marshfield Plaza on May 31, 2020.

Police then saw Walton leave the store, records show. He ran to a Honda CR-V parked nearby and tried unsuccessfully to open the driver’s door, according to prosecutors. Then, he allegedly dropped the stolen merchandise and ran through the parking lot, leaving the car behind.

Officers decided to wait beside the abandoned vehicle, and they saw a large amount of “what appeared to be additional stolen merchandise” inside, records show.

Five minutes after he left, Walton allegedly returned to the car. Prosecutors say the officers then told Walton to remove the stolen items from the vehicle. Walton allegedly replied that he didn’t care about the merchandise but did not want to go to jail.

“You all can have everything,” Walton allegedly said.

Prosecutors say Walton then moved closer to the officers and said he needed to tell them something. Though they initially rebuffed him, he insisted and the officers let him step closer, records show.

“I have a gun in the car,” Walton allegedly said.

Walton said the gun was on the driver’s side floorboard, but an officer found it in the center cup holder after moving a pile of stolen merchandise out of the way, records show.

Walton allegedly told officers, “I know I shouldn’t have a gun,” “I’m on parole for a gun,” and “please tell me you’re not going to arrest me. I was honest.”

Walton’s criminal history includes drug convictions dating back to 1997, records show. In November 2012 he was also convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon in Cook County and was sentenced to two years in prison. In September 2017, he was convicted of the same crime and sentenced to eight years in prison.

He was released on parole in June 2019, records show.

Walton’s defense attorney tried earlier this year to challenge the federal case against him, denying that Walton told officers about the gun. Without that statement, she wrote, “The officers had no probable cause to believe a weapon was in the vehicle.”

But the defense attorney dropped the challenge after prosecutors in May disclosed that Walton had been recorded during jailhouse phone calls acknowledging the comment.

“I’m like, ‘Man they wasn’t, they wasn’t listening. Them police weren’t listening,’” Walton allegedly said during a call on June 3, 2020. “… They talking about, ‘You got a [Firearm Owners Identification] card?’ I’m saying like, ‘That’s not my gun, sir.’ I’m like, ‘There’s a gun in the car, but it’s not mine.’”

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