Fugitive in 1979 Chicago Murder Arrested

Ata Yousef El Ammouri was taken into custody around 5 p.m. Friday at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after he arrived from Jordan

By Alexandria Fisher
|  Saturday, Jun 8, 2013  |  Updated 5:22 PM EDT
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Chicago Fugitive Arrested in Madison

Cook County Sheriff's Office

Ata Yousef El Ammouri was accused of shooting and killing Joe Harris, 31, on July 22, 1979 after Harris walked out of El Ammouri’s store in the 500 block of 67th Street in Chicago without paying for a can of beer, police said.

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A 65-year-old man, who fled the country after being charged with killing another man 34 years ago was arrested Friday, officials said.

Ata Yousef El Ammouri was taken into custody around 5 p.m. Friday at Chicago's O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after he arrived from Jordan, police said. He was traveling to the United States to attend a graduation, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

El Ammouri was accused of shooting and killing Joe Harris, 31, on July 22, 1979 after Harris walked out of El Ammouri’s store in the 500 block of 67th Street in Chicago without paying for a can of beer, authorities said.

He was charged with the murder in 1979 and posted $100,000 bail.

El Ammouri received additional charges for jumping bail in November of 1979 after he failed to show up to court hearings and was believed to have fled the country to avoid prosecution, officials said.

“Today’s capture of Ata Yousef El Ammouri should send a message that the simple passage of time does not eradicate our commitment to bringing fugitives to justice,” Sheriff Dart said in a statement.

El Ammouri appeared in bond court Saturday morning and was ordered held without bail. He is next scheduled to appear in court June 10.

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