A man authorities believe is the person accused of fleeing the scene of a deadly auto crash in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., is being held in Cook County Jail without bond after police arrested him in a South Loop hotel.
Officers from the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Adam Shepard, 30, on Friday at the Best Western Hotel, 1100 S. Michigan Ave., after they were notified of his whereabouts, according to a police report.
Shepard fled the Jacksonville area on Jan. 25 following an accident that resulted in a death, according to court records.
Shepard's car was seen leaving the scene of a hit-and-run crash on Jan. 22 in which a 35-year-old man was struck, said Sgt. Tom Bingham of the Jacksonville Beach police. The man, Spencer Schott, was found injured in front of an apartment complex and later died.
Witnesses saw the license plate of the car that struck him, and the tag number matched that of Shepard's white 2005 Acura, Bingham said. That car was later found in Topeka, Kan., which is listed in court records as Shepard's hometown.
Shepard's attorney told a judge in bond court today that the Shepard who appeared in court was not the same person wanted on the Florida fugitive warrant. A fingerprint comparison initially conducted by Chicago police and the FBI did not match those of the Shepard who appeared in court, the defense attorney said.
But Chicago Police Officer Kimberly Lansdown of the department's extradition unit told the judge that she had obtained prints from Kansas that matched his.
Also, Bingham said, a transposition of digits in the number of the warrant issued in Florida may have initially led to difficulty in identifying Shepard.
"That's been cleared up now," Bingham said. "There's no doubt that it's him."
The photo of Shepard published in the Florida Times-Union shows a clean-shaven man with close-cropped curly hair, while the mugshot that accompanied Shepard's Chicago arrest report show a man with a shaved head and goatee. Despite the differences, the two images appear to be of the same person.
Shepard is scheduled to appear in court again on Monday.
Tribune reporter Andrew L. Wang contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun