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Boyfriend Charged With Fatal Stabbing Of Zion Woman

Trent Lee

Trent Lee has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Nichelle McNeal (Credit: Zion Police Department)

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WAUKEGAN (STMW) – A parolee who was Tased and arrested by police after a foot chase early Thursday morning has been charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend in a far north suburban apartment known by police as a drug house.

Just after 3 a.m. Thursday, Zion police received a call of a woman being stabbed at 2902 Elim Ave., Apt. 3, and responding officers saw a man in the area who matched the description of the offender, according to a release from police.

Sgt. Chris Sweeting approached the subject, who ran away, but after a short chase and physical struggle, officers were finally able to subdue the subject with a Taser device.

Trent D. Lee, 43, appeared to have fresh blood on his hands and clothing, and was arrested and taken into custody, the release said.

Inside the Elim Avenue apartment, officers found 43-year old Nichelle T. McNeal motionless on the bathroom floor with multiple cut and stab wounds on her neck and upper chest, the release. McNeal, of 2711 29th St. in Zion, was pronounced dead at Vista East Hospital at 3:49 a.m.

McNeal and Lee were involved in a dating relationship for several years, the release said. According to statements by Lee, they were at the apartment drinking and using drugs when they began to argue. It escalated to a physical altercation and Lee admitted grabbing a knife and stabbing McNeal multiple times.

Lee allegedly told detectives, “Once I grabbed a knife I knew she was going to die.” He also said he used two different knives while stabbing McNeal, the release said. Evidence technicians recovered both — a steak knife and a kitchen knife about 10 to 12 inches long.

Lee, also of 2711 29th St. in Zion, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. In court on Friday, he was ordered held in the Lake County Jail on a $3 million dollar bond, the release said. He has an extensive criminal history, which includes 39 prior arrests and 19 convictions, according to police. He was on parole at the time of the killing.

Police said the Elim Avenue apartment is a known drug house, where tactical unit detectives served a search warrant last Saturday. Neither McNeal nor Lee was present at the time of the search, though another person was arrested on drug charges.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)