Chicago policeman charged with murder released from jail on electronic monitoring

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CHICAGO - A judge has ordered that a Chicago police officer be released from jail after he promised to appear in court on charges of first-degree murder in the shooting death of an unarmed man.

Cook County Circuit Judge Donald Panarese Jr. also ordered Thursday that 57-year-old Lowell Houser be placed on electronic monitoring upon his release. Prosecutors had asked Panarese to order Houser be held in jail without bond.

Houser was charged Wednesday. Prosecutors say he was off duty on Jan 2 when he shot 38-year-old Jose Nieves during an argument. An autopsy showed that Nieves was shot once in the lower back and once in the right hand. During Thursday's hearing, his attorney said Houser fired in self-defense after Nieves threatened to shoot him and reached toward his waist.