A Rogers Park man fatally beat and stomped a longtime acquaintance after he had agreed to lend money to the victim during a visit with the victim and his girlfriend, prosecutors said Thursday.

Phalyon McFarthing, 46, was charged last week with aggravated battery and sexual assault in the Jan. 23 beating of Algie Ferguson, 61, in an elevator at Ferguson’s building in the 6800 block of North Sheridan Road, authorities said last week. Ferguson died Jan. 30, and on Thursday, McFarthing was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail on a charge of first-degree murder.

At the time of the fatal beating, McFarthing was on probation in one domestic criminal case from 2015 and had just finished serving 16 days in jail in another, according to court and police records.

McFarthing, of the 1500 block of West Pratt Boulevard, had known Ferguson for several years, and went to visit Ferguson and his girlfriend at their apartment the evening of Jan. 23, spending a few hours hanging out, prosecutors said Thursday. Ferguson asked McFarthing to borrow money, and McFarthing agreed to lend Ferguson the money. McFarthing told Ferguson he had the money somewhere else, so they left the apartment, prosecutors said.

About 45 minutes later, Ferguson’s girlfriend got in touch with him and asked where he was, and he told her he was in the apartment building, about to get in an elevator. McFarthing came back into her and Ferguson’s apartment a few minutes later with bloody hands, threatening to kill Ferguson, said prosecutors, who didn’t make clear if the two men were together at that point.

A building manager heard Ferguson and McFarthing fighting, and called 911.

Police arrived at the apartment building about 11:45 p.m. following a call of a fight there, and after searching each floor of the building, found McFarthing inside an elevator, punching Ferguson, who was unresponsive, and going through Ferguson’s pockets, prosecutors said. Ferguson’s pants and underwear appeared to have been pulled down, prosecutors said.

McFarthing was arrested, and admitted to punching Ferguson, stomping on his head, and sodomizing Ferguson with a pair of glasses, prosecutors said Thursday.

Ferguson was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he died Jan. 30.
An autopsy conducted Sunday by the Cook County medical examiner’s office determined Ferguson died from complications from multiple injuries suffered in an assault in a homicide.

McFarthing was charged Jan. 25 with aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, attempted murder and criminal sexual assault, with the aggravated battery charge changed Thursday to first-degree murder.

McFarthing faced two domestic-related criminal cases last year, and was on conditional discharge—a type of probation—in one of the cases when he was arrested in Ferguson’s beating, according to court records.

In the most recent domestic violence case, McFarthing was arrested after attack about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the 6900 block of North Wayne Avenue—within a few blocks of where both McFarthing and Ferguson lived—according to court and police records. On Dec. 31, McFarthing pled guilty to domestic battery, and Domestic Violence Court Judge Caroline Kate Moreland sentenced him to 16 days in jail—the amount of time he had already spent in jail after his arrest, according to court records.

Following the charges in Ferguson’s attack, McFarthing faces a violation of probation charge in an earlier case that was heard in Cook County Criminal Court Branch 61, the same Domestic Violence Court courtroom where he pled guilty in December. In the earlier case, McFarthing pled guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment last March in an incident that took place about 12:15 a.m. Feb. 18, 2015, in the 3500 block of West Montrose Avenue, where he lived at the time, according to court and police records.

Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Schmadeke contributed.

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