Montgomery man convicted in 2020 murder of Aurora man; sentencing hearing set for Oct. 24

Chuckie E. Chatman

A Kane County jury has found a Montgomery man, Chuckie E. Chatman, 32, of the 800 block of Victoria Drive, guilty of first degree murder and the aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with the death of an Aurora man two years ago.

Chatman faces a minimum sentence of 39 years in jail, according to a statement issued by Kane County State’s Attorney Office.

Judge Alice C. Tracy revoked Chatman’s bond upon conviction and he remains in custody at the Kane County jail where he has been held since his arrest.

Chatman is scheduled to return to court Oct. 24 at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles for sentencing.

In the statement, the state’s attorney’s office said Assistant State’s Attorneys William Engerman and Jake Matekaitis presented evidence at trial that Chatman had been upset that Ernest Hardy, 40, had been dating the mother of his children, and had made threats against the woman.

The statement reads that on “October 16, 2020, Chatman went to the woman’s residence on Best Place in Aurora, but she refused to let him inside. The woman called Hardy, who drove to her residence. Around midnight October 17, 2020, the two left in Hardy’s vehicle. Chatman began to follow them in a vehicle at high speed and Hardy accelerated north on Redwood Drive. A passenger in Chatman’s car whose identity is unknown to authorities fired multiple gunshots at Hardy’s vehicle, striking it four times. One of the gunshots struck a rear tire, causing the vehicle to skid out of control and strike a parked car. Hardy suffered a fractured spine in the crash and died five days later. The woman, uninjured, climbed from the car before police arrived and ran home.”

In the statement, Assistant State’s Attorney Engerman said Chatman’s actions began and exacerbated a chain of events that directly led to the death of Ernest Hardy.

“He (Chatman) showed a distinct lack of appreciation for human life that our community does not tolerate,” Engerman said, adding, “My thanks to Assistant State’s Attorney Matekaitis for his excellent work in this trial, and to victim advocates Martha Martinez and Linda Hagemann. Special thanks to Aurora Police Det. Darrell Moore, Aurora Police Sgt. Jason Shettles and the entire Aurora Police Department for their work.”