CHICAGO (STMW) — A middle-aged Park Ridge man was convicted Tuesday of murdering his mother by throwing her over a railing and down stairs after the pair argued over family assets.
“I would never hurt my mother,” Wayne Weinke Jr. told Cook County Judge William Lacy when he took the stand at his bench trial earlier this month, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The judge didn’t believe him.
“She did not trip. She did not fall,” Lacy said of the July 18, 2006 incident that severely injured 77-year-old Gloria Weinke and eventually led to her death.
Lacy said after watching Gloria Weinke’s videotaped deposition, he concluded the elderly woman was “lucid, alert and responsive” when she told detectives what her son had done when he visited her for the last time in her Arlington Heights duplex nearly seven years ago.
When she lie at the bottom of the steps, Gloria Weinke said she looked up at her son and told him: “I love you.”
Lacy said he was perplexed why a man “with a thriving [family] business” would commit such a crime.
“I saw that tape….That was no dream. It was a nightmare she was living,” the judge said before finding Wayne Weinke, 57, guilty of murder, aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery to a senior citizen.
Some of Weinke’s family and friends who crammed into seven benches in Lacy’s courtroom wept when the judge issued his verdict after thoroughly dissecting his thoughts on the case.
Weinke’s sister Gail Deadwyler, who sat across from the relatives she is now estranged from, was relieved with the ruling.
“There is no joy in this,” Deadwyler, of Des Plaines, said following the 45-minute hearing.
“He has to pay the consequences for killing my mother.”
Weinke had dismissed Deadwyler as a “freeloader” and accused her of helping their mother brainwash the late Weinke patriarch into changing his trust and leaving the $1 million plus Chicago-based property of the family’s construction supply company to Deadwyler instead of splitting it between the three siblings as he had originally intended.
“He came off as desperate man trying to cover his tracks,” Deadwyler, 59, said of her brother’s testimony.
Deadwyler said she misses talking to Weinke’s two children and larger extended family, including another brother.
All have chosen to believe Weinke “lies,” she said.
Weinke’s supporters, including church clergy and his wife, refused to comment.
Weinke faces 20 to 60 years in prison when he is expected to be sentenced on July 10.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)