CHICAGO (CBS) — A 25-year-old man has been charged with the murders of his girlfriend, her mother, and her sister during a domestic dispute outside his home in Auburn Gresham this summer.
John Matthews was ordered held without bail Friday afternoon on three counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his girlfriend, 24-year-old Shonta Harris; her mother, 56-year-old Frances Neal; and her sister, 27-year-old Jasmine Neal.
At Matthews’ bail hearing, Cook County prosecutors said Matthews and Harris had been dating for two years, and had a 4-month-old son together, although they were living in separate homes about a mile away from each other.
Harris and her son were at Matthews’ house on the 8600 block of South Wood Street for Father’s Day and spent the night there, according to prosecutors. The next morning, Matthews asked Harris to cook for him, but she said no because she wasn’t feeling well. He then told her to braid his hair, but she again declined because she wasn’t feeling well, enraging Matthews, prosecutors said.
Matthews came up behind Harris and punched her in the face, prompting his grandmother to intervene, and take Harris outside in an attempt to defuse the situation, according to prosecutors. Matthews followed them outside, continuing to berate Harris, and ignoring his grandmother’s pleas to go back inside.
Harris tried to call her mother to come and get her and her son, but prosecutors said Matthews took away her phone and broke it, so his grandmother let Harris use hers.
Prosecutors said Matthews continued to berate Harris while she waited for her mother to pick her up. When Harris’ mother and sister showed up, Frances Neal saw the bruise on her daughter’s eye and asked Matthews why he’d hit Harris.
Matthews said Harris “didn’t do s*** for him and that he hated her,” and told everyone to get off his property, according to prosecutors. Harris’ baby was still inside, and Matthews refused to let her go inside to take him home.
That’s when Jasmine Neal called 911 to report Matthews had attacked her sister and was refusing to hand over their son.
Prosecutors said Matthews then pulled out a handgun from his waistband, and shot Frances Neal multiple times in the chest, back, arm and leg. He then shot Harris in the chest. Finally, he turned the gun on Jasmine Neal once in the head as she tried to run away.
Matthews’ grandmother called 911, and he ran off through the gangway.
Frances Neal and Jasmine Neal were pronounced dead at the scene. Harris was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was treated for her wounds. Prosecutors said she had bullet fragments lodged in her chest, fractures to her ribs and spine, and was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Prosecutors said Harris and Matthews’ grandmother — as well as at least two other witnesses — identified him as the gunman, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on June 25.
Authorities later tracked down Matthews in Iowa, after he was involved in a car crash on Aug. 3. Prosecutors said he initially gave police a fake name, but later identified himself, and was taken into custody. He was extradited back to Chicago on Thursday.
Harris later died of complications from her gunshot wound on Sept. 5, while being treated at a nursing home, according to prosecutors.
Matthews is due back in court on Nov. 30.
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