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Two 18-year-olds are due in bond court this morning to face first degree murder charges in the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in Evanston earlier this month.

Evanston police say Malik Caswell and Julius Francellno had arranged to meet Yakez Semark in the 1800 block of Hovland Court to purchase marijuana from him late on Thursday night, Feb. 8.

But something went wrong and Francellno and Semark started fighting. Then, police say, Francellno pulled out a gun and fired, hitting Semark once in the chest.


Yakez Semark, in an image from his funeral program.

Semark, a 2015 Evanston Township High School graduate, was pronounced dead at Evanston Hospital.

Friends and family gathered for a funeral service for Semark Saturday at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Evanston.


Julius Francellno playing for the Niles North Vikings.

Francellno, who’s listed as having an Evanston address, had played basketball and football for Niles North High School in Skokie and had just graduated from the school at midyear. He was taken into custody after police searched a home in the 2000 block of Emerson Street on Thursday.

Caswell, police say, is a student at ETHS, although he’s listed as having a Chicago address. He was taken into custody on Saturday.

Charges against both were announced on Sunday.


Update 2:55 p.m.: Caswell and Francellno were ordered held without bond at this morning’s court hearing. Their next court date is scheduled for Feb. 23 at Skokie District Court.

Related stories

Two charged in Semark homicide (2/18/18)

Person of interest in custody in homicide (2/16/18)

Police report progress in homicide probe (2/16/18)

Murder victim was ETHS grad (2/9/18)

Chicago man shot to death on Hovland Court (2/9/18)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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4 Comments

  1. Mentally ill, Suicides, Drugs, Guns, money,……………..
    My prayers, my hope my love heart feeling goes out to the families who are in much pain and maybe in denial … NOW!!! .What can i do or say to change things around ……i can’t, we can’t , you can’t….But, i will say this to anyone with compassion… who is grieving…..hold on…. time will change…and here is a book to read that may or may not help you to cope… now or later.. ..it is helping me. Author’s name is Sylvia Browne…. and yes, my comment goes out to the Francellno family, the Casswell family and to Yakez Semark family…….

  2. How is a Chicago resident enrolled at ETHS?
    How is a Chicago resident enrolled at ETHS? How many other students go to ETHS but live in Chicago or Skokie? Our taxes are high enough as it is. I doubt most Evanstonians want to subsidize Chicago students. This should be looked into.

  3. Further detail

    The Trib reports from the arraignment that one of the suspects told police that he and his friend had planned to rob Semark. This is a pretty important detail. This was not an argument that escalated. It was a planned armed robbery, where the victim apparently tried to avoid being robbed, and was murdered for it.

    1. No sympathy for the perps

      Who is raising…(or NOT raising) these moronic would-be thugs, who think they can have and take whatever they want, with NO consequences, no thoughts about getting caught, no remorse, and no futures for them? Every time there is a murder anywhere, the tally is more than “1”…it’s a lot of lost lives. Too bad these people don’t care about themselves. or the other lives. It’s hard to believe that anyone with any type of brain could think this way.

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