A man who has been representing himself in a case in which he’s charged with fatally stabbing a woman in 2018 in Joliet was released from jail the evening before Thanksgiving.
On Wednesday, Will County Judge Dan Rippy granted the pretrial release of Christopher Beale, 35, of Joliet, who’s charged with the Oct. 1, 2018, first-degree murder of Marcedes Flakes, 28. She was stabbed in the back outside a residence at Fairview Homes. The 1960s-era public housing development was torn down in 2019.
Beale, who’s been representing himself since 2021, filed a motion requesting his release from jail after the abolishment of cash bail under the SAFE-T Act. Beale has spent the past five years in jail while his murder case has yet to resolve.
A jury trial date has been set for April 22.
Beale’s motion claimed that he was acting in self-defense with Flakes, the mother of his three children. The two had been involved in more than 15 domestic disputes.
Beale’s motion alleged that Flakes was striking him across the face with a cooking pan Oct. 1, 2018, during yet another domestic dispute. He claimed that there was a struggle between the two over a kitchen steak knife, and Beale managed to grab it as Flakes continued to strike him with the pan.
Beale claimed that he fended off “his attacker by swinging the knife one time,” striking Flakes in the back of her shoulder and piercing an artery. He alleged that he tossed away the knife, fled to Chicago and then turned himself in at the police department there.
Beale said he was working as a contractor with a construction company before his arrest and that he has participated in life improvement programs while he was in jail.
Beale said he has agreed to keep Rippy informed of his address in Chicago, provide his cellphone number and participate in GPS monitoring.
Even though Beale is charged with an offense eligible for detention, his pretrial conditions are “sufficient to protect the community and ensure [the defendant’s] appearance in court,” according to Rippy’s court order.
Those conditions include not leaving Illinois without Rippy’s permission, refraining from the possession of weapons and having no contact with any witnesses in the case. Beale also must be placed on GPS monitoring and not leave his home unless it’s for court hearings, medical appointments or religious services.
On May 3, 2022, Beale suffered a fractured jaw after he was struck by a former fellow inmate, Quentell Haynes, 38, of Joliet. Haynes pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of Beale, and he was sentenced to two years in prison.
Last year, Will County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said the dispute occurred over Beale, a self-proclaimed jailhouse lawyer, refusing to look over Haynes’ court paperwork.