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.