(STMW) — A Park Ridge man who threw his frail, elderly mother over a stair railing in a dispute over his inheritance was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Cook County Judge William Lacy noted that even as 77-year-old Gloria Weinke lay on the floor, crying for help after the fall, Wayne Weinke Jr. did nothing to help her.
She died nearly three months later, partly because her son went “ballistic” believing he’d been cheated out of the wealth he felt he deserved, prosecutors said at trial.
In hopes of getting a shorter sentence, defense attorneys submitted letters portraying Wayne Weinke as a good friend and husband.
“These are admirable qualities, but they are not a defense of murder,” Lacy responded.
Wayne Weinke did not speak at the hearing.
Last May, Lacy rejected Weinke’s claim that he had nothing to do with his mother’s death — that he hadn’t even visited her Arlington Heights duplex on July 18, 2006, the day he is accused of pushing her down the stairs.
Most damning, Lacy said, was the videotape deposition Gloria Weinke made, in which she identified her son as the person who harmed her.
Weinke not only threw his mother over the railing, but then left her to suffer alone. It would be another 14 hours before officials at the Moorings retirement home found her.
It was a case that bitterly divided a family. Dozens of family members crammed into Lacy’s courtroom each day, supporting the accused — a middle-aged businessman, father of two grown children and a devout Lutheran. During three hours of testimony last year, Weinke denied murdering his mother.
He admitted on the stand, though, that he had argued with her about the family’s assets.
But when Wayne Weinke was found guilty, his sister, Gail Deadwyler, said he’d got what he deserved
Weinke has accused his sister of helping brainwash the late Weinke patriarch into changing his trust and leaving the $1 million plus Chicago-based property to the family’s construction supply company to Deadwyler instead of splitting it between the three siblings as he had originally intended.
As Lacy handed down his sentence Thursday, Deadwyler pressed her lips together and nodded.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)