Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 24 years, 4 months, 2 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Kensington
District of Incident (Present Day): 005 - Calumet
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 54
Date of Birth: 26 Feb 1920
Date of Appointment: 03 Apr 1950
Date of Incident: 05 Aug 1974
End of Watch: 05 Aug 1974
Date of Interment: 08 Aug 1974
Cemetery: St. Mary Catholic Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Mausoleum, Crypt 7, Tier A
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-6
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 14
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 29
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 47-E: 9
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Sergeant Otha Mac LeMons, Star #1048, aged 54 years, was a 24 year, 4 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Kensington.
On August 5, 1974, at 1:00 a.m., Sergeant LeMons was off duty and in Pepsi’s Lounge located at 62 East 103rd Street when an armed robbery occurred. Three members of the Duck Town Stones, a faction of the Black P Stone Nation, entered the lounge with guns drawn. The sergeant identified himself as a police officer and drew his weapon when two of the offenders opened fire and shot him six times. The robbers then fled the scene in a tan 1970 Buick Electra without license plates and made good their escape, not before taking a large amount of money from the lounge. Sergeant LeMons was transported to Roseland Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 1:11 p.m. on August 5, 1974.
One of the robber’s fingerprints was lifted on the bar and descriptions of the robbers were obtained by six witnesses to the shooting. Willie “Will Kill” Jefferson, Jr., age 23, of 8930South Justine Avenue, was identified as Sergeant LeMons’ killer two days later. Jefferson was no stranger to murder. He was arrested on March 11, 1974 for the murder of Earl Harold Daniels, age 13, but was discharged on April 11, 1974 by Judge Wayne Olson for no probable cause. Also identified as an accomplice, in a juvenile petition, was Larry Collins, age 16 and Kenneth Tompkins, age 22, of 6038 South Morgan Street. Collins, Jefferson and Tompkins were eventually apprehended.
Willie Jefferson was charged with the murder and four counts of armed robbery. Larry Collins was sent to juvenile detention on three counts of armed robbery and the sergeant’s murder. Kenneth Tompkins was charged with murder.
Pepsi’s Lounge was owned by Arthur Hadley, Sergeant LeMons’ uncle. It was robbed three weeks prior to the incident. Sergeant LeMons had been stopping there on his off hours to check up on the place.
Sergeant LeMons was waked at A. A. Raynor & Sons Funeral Home located at 318 East 71st Street. His funeral mass was held at St. Columbanus Church located at 331 East 71st Street, was cremated, and entombed on August 8, 1974 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois. His crypt is located in the Mausoleum, Crypt 7, Tier A.
Sergeant Otha Mac LeMons, born February 26, 1920, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 3, 1950. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1972.
Sergeant LeMons served in the U.S. Army, was a veteran of World War II and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Verdun Christine (nee Whitaker), age 55; daughter, Babette Davis; mother, Anna (nee Watherspoon) and grandchildren: Byron and Monet. He was preceded in death by his father, Abie.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #P366000.