Man Charged With Killing Sister, Brother-In-Law

COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — The brother of a Cook County judge has been charged with killing his sister and her husband over a dispute about who owned the home where they all lived.

The woman’s family said she had called 911 just hours before her death, saying she feared for her life.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, Pauline Betts-Bracy, 53, and her husband Nathaniel Bracy, 64, were found dead in the 19300 block of South Oakwood Avenue in Country Club Hills last Friday.

On Wednesday, Betts-Bracy’s brother, Kenneth Rhodes, 50, was charged with killing the couple. Rhodes also is the brother of Cook County Judge James L. Rhodes, who works at the Markham courthouse.

After Rhodes was charged, Betts-Bracy’s family was questioning how police handled her calls for help before she wound up dead.

“She was in fear of her life,” her daughter Margaret Betts said.

Margaret Betts said her mother had called 911 for help in the past, because of threats from Betts’ uncle, Kenneth Rhodes, who has an extensive criminal record.

“This was his second threat of him jumping in her face, saying he was going to kill her,” Betts said.

On Friday, Betts-Bracy called 911, because she was having another argument with her brother. Rhodes wanted full ownership of the Country Club Hills condo, where he, his sister and her husband lived.

The condo had been left to Betts-Bracy and Rhodes by their mother. Betts said she overheard the 911 call made by her mother, during the argument with Rhodes.

“Now I have to live with that for the rest of my life,” she said.

Prosecutors said Rhodes not only threatened to kill Betts-Bracy, he carried out the crime by shooting her and her husband to death on Friday.

Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch said two officers were sent to the condo after Betts-Bracy called 911.

“They talked to her and her husband and made a police report. They were given a package to take to the state’s attorney’s office for the order of protection procedure, which is standard. It’s called a summons package,” Welch said.

Welch acknowledged that Betts-Bracy was told to go to court on the following day, Saturday, because court was not in session when she was given the packet.

“That’s the standard procedure to handle that,” Welch said.

Sadly, Betts-Bracy never had the chance to file that order of protection against her brother.

“I know that they told her to come into the station the following day and she told me, ‘If I’m not at that station tomorrow, I’m dead,” her daughter said. “She told me that. So, when I couldn’t reach my mom by one that afternoon, I was hysterical.”

Prosecutors said Rhodes had killed Betts-Bracy and her husband the evening after Betts-Bracy called 911.

Rhodes was denied bond on Wednesday.

Betts said her entire family is devastated by what her uncle is alleged to have done and is asking for the public’s prayers.

  • inalienablewrights

    Unless you are strong enough to carry a cop around on your back there is no practical way for the cops to protect you. The courts have ruled time after time that the police have no duty to protect you. The only person that can protect you is you!

    Yet we have to live with, and pay for this myth that the police can protect you.

    • OLD VET


      • Also an old Vet


      • inalienablewrights

        No you don’t. You need the absolute right to self defense recognized (i.e. Constitutional carry) such as in Alaska, Vermont, AZ, and WY.

  • Man Charged With Killing Sister, Brother-In-Law | Law Attorney Magazine | Law Attorney News

    […] The family of a woman killed in her home last weekend said she had previously called police, because she feared for her life. FAMILY LAW – Yahoo! News Search Results […]

  • Lyndia

    The mother left the condo to both of them, ok. The man is a fool with an extensive record. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE HOUSE WITH HIM? DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHO LIVES IN THE CONDO? I am not blaming the victim but some family members are crazy and when they prove to be nuts or threaten to kill you, it is time for you to get going. (Or kill them first)

  • inalienablewrights

    But Lyndia Americans can not be legally armed especially minorities and blacks. So as usual the criminal was the only one with a weapon. Perhaps he would have thought twice or even perhaps lost if his victims were armed.

    Again thank your criminal legislature for facilitating the commission of this crime.

  • mully

    Or perhaps he would have apprehended their weapon and used it against them. This guy is a nut. You can see it in his eyes. I agree that the police can’t and don’t protect law abiding citizens. If they did, there wouldn’t be so much crime. All they do is come behind a crime scene to “investigate”, and administer traffic tickets. And the writers of this article did a poor job. “Rhodes wanted full ownership of the Country Club Hills condo, where he, his sister and her husband lived.” He wasn’t her brother!

  • inalienablewrights

    mullly – perhaps, coulda, woulda , shouda…..

    All one can do is be armed, train, and do the best you can.
    Training is critical as most criminals don’t train.

    Things would have come out better than for these folks if they were armed. I mean the guy threatened their lives so the second he entered the home he was fair game. With a Protection Order filed it would have been a home invasion would it not ? I think the chances of the perp dieing would have been very high given this scenario.


    This a man i thought i knew. He never seemed like that type of person.He was always helping people and you could be sure that when you saw him he would always greet you.Well go to show you you never knoe what goes on behind close doors.I WILL KEEP YOUR FAMILY IN MY PRAYERS. You will be missed KENNY !!!!!!!

  • Chivi

    My father passed away Aug 7, 2011. I live in his home. I am going through probate since my dad did not leave a will. The situation is getting ugly with my siblings. I am not running. Sherece, you are right about the fact that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I feel bad for the family but they should have protected themselves in their own home. One of my brothers is an ex-con. I consider him a menace.

  • sdonny

    Too Funny…

  • Keesha B.

    Peace,grace and mercy be granted to the families during their storm, may much added strength be given to them to keep them from losing their minds during their season of strife.

    And I will learn from their situation that that some fights can be walked away from, the spirit of stubborness and always having to be right can get you killed

  • Charmia Mia Smith

    This Is someone i thought i knew as well.
    He never seemed like that type of person.He was always helping people and you could be sure that when you saw him he would always greet you. (taken from SHERECE) This was so true, We all been thru ups and downs but I never thought of him any other way. I pray peace be restored with in the family and with in himself…….

  • inalienablewrights

    If an person that knows someone well is perplexed…..

    Then so much for the gun haters fairy tale that the doctors in white coats can predict who is going to use a gun wrongly, and that we should take that right away in such cases. And the other fantasy that knives and baseball bats do not exist.

  • Mike

    My prayers goes out to the remaining family left behind from this situation. I have never known Kenny to be violent like this he was always humble everytime u seen him the Robim Hood of maywood shame to say dont no one but those 3 auctually knows what really went wrong in that home to make someone result to killing,i truly believe its much more behind this story.

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