CHICAGO (CBS) — Bond was denied Saturday against a man charged with the murder of a young mother who was found dead on Christmas Day.
As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported, Jeffrey Finley-Scott, of the 7900 block of South South Shore Drive, was charged with the murder of Juanita Hankins, 32, police said early Saturday.
Bond was denied for Finley-Scott in Central Bond Court (Br. 1) at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.
Finley-Scott was not in court Saturday, CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported. He was hospitalized at the University of Chicago Medical Center with self-inflicted stab wounds – which Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsay Ruedig said he inflicted on himself on Christmas Day shortly after the murder.
Hankins, a mother of two, was found beaten to death on Christmas Day inside a room at the Beverly Motel & Suites near 95th Street and Vincennes Avenue.
She had dropped her two daughters – ages 4 and 6 – off at their grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, and had told her family she was going out and would return in a few hours.
But when she didn’t return or answer their calls, they knew something was wrong. Her mother, Elisa Hankins, broke down as she recounted the night to CBS 2’s Jermont Terry.
“I said, ‘If I call you, girl, you better come in – you know, it’s Christmas. I did – we laughed, like, ‘Mama, you know, I’ll be back.’ Eight o’clock came. Nine o’clock came. It’s 12 o’clock,” she said. “It’s Christmas! My daughter would never abandon her kids on Christmas!”
Prosecutors said in court that Finley-Scott and Hankins had dated from the summer to the fall of this year, and had an “explosive breakup” involving numerous text messages in which Finley-Scott threatened to harm Hankins.
“She expressed, hey, she’s done with this guy. Nobody has to worry,” said Hankins’ aunt, Stacy Starnes.
But just one week later on Christmas Eve, Hankins found her way back.
On Monday, Dec. 16, Hankins filed a police report against Finley-Scott, alleging that he was posting video to Facebook showing her performing sex acts on him without her consent, prosecutors said.
At 11:23 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Finley-Scott rented room 103 at the Beverly Motel Suites, and he was captured on surveillance video in the lobby, prosecutors said. There is only one exit and entrance to room 103, which is monitored by surveillance equipment, prosecutors said.
At 11:46 p.m., Hankins pulled up in her Dodge Journey and parked in front of room 103 at the motel, prosecutors said. She entered the room and then exited again – driving off at 11:53 p.m. but returning at 12:25 p.m. Christmas morning, prosecutors alleged.
After Hankins returned to the motel, she and Finley-Scott drank and hung out – and Finley-Scott made a chilling Facebook Live video in which they appeared together, prosecutors said.
“To see her on video hours after her saying she’s done with this guy – that’s something that we will never know the answer to,” Starnes said.
Between 12:30 a.m. and 3:12 a.m. Christmas Day, Finley-Scott overheard Hankins accessing his phone and confronted her, prosecutors said. Finley-Scott choked Hankins and slammed her down on the floor, and then dragged her to the bathroom where he straddled her with her body between his legs, prosecutors claimed.
Finley-Scott remained on top of Hankins’ abdomen, shoulder, and neck as she complained she couldn’t breathe, prosecutors said. She then became unresponsive, prosecutors said.
At 3:12 a.m., Finley-Scott left the motel room and drove away in Hankins’ Dodge Journey, prosecutors said.
And while other families were getting ready to open presents, prosecutors said Finley-Scott was busy creating a path of destruction behind him.
Around 5 a.m., Finley-Scott arrived at his cousin’s apartment – only to leave after about six minutes and return a few hours later, prosecutors said. When he returned, he had blood on his face and was bleeding from a hit-and-run accident that had transpired at 6715 S. South Shore Dr., prosecutors said.
Finley-Scott’s cousin left him at her home with her husband, and returned to find Finley-Scott bleeding from his side from injuries he had inflicted using a knife he found in the apartment, prosecutors said.
Finley-Scott’s cousin called paramedics, but he was uncooperative, prosecutors said. Paramedics then called police, and once the sound of the police sirens was in range, Finley-Scott ran off, police said.
When Finley-Scott’s cousin and her husband got home, they found themselves locked out and saw blood near the back door, prosecutors said. Police came, and found Finley-Scott barricaded inside the apartment and threatening self-harm, prosecutors said.
He had already cut his arms and neck, prosecutors said.
Police did eventually apprehend Finley-Scott, who made video-recorded admissions to choking Hankins, slamming her to the floor, and holding her down until she was unresponsive, prosecutors said.
Meanwhile, Hankins’ body was discovered at 10:48 a.m. Christmas morning by a motel housekeeper, prosecutors said.
An autopsy conducted on Thursday determined that she died of strangulation – having suffered injuries to neck that included a bruised thyroid, as well as bruises to her upper arms, scratches to her neck, and a bruise near her pelvis, prosecutors said.
“You can’t take my daughter like you think it’s cool! You can’t go killing people thinking it’s cool! You can’t kill people and then get up tomorrow and go act like you ain’t done nothing wrong!” Elisa Hankins said.
“What he has taken from our family cannot be replaced,” Starnes said. “Christmas will never be the same for any of us.”
Finley-Scott has a criminal record that involved prison sentences of one year in 2004, 2005, and 2007, and 30 months in 2006, for drug-related convictions. He also has another drug-related felony conviction that resulted in probation in 2003, and several misdemeanor convictions.
Hankins did not have an order of protection against Finley-Scott, prosecutors said.
CBS 2’s Jermont Terry and Cesar Rodriguez contributed to this report.