Woman faces first-degree murder charge following reported panhandling dispute on Wilson Avenue exit ramp that resulted in death of Jefferson Park man
by BRIAN NADIG
A woman was charged with the murder of a Jefferson Park man in connection with a reported dispute between two panhandlers on the Wilson Avenue exit ramp on the southbound Edens Expressway in Mayfair at about 2:40 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
The man and woman reportedly had a verbal and then physical altercation that started when the woman became upset that the man was panhandling in an area that she had claimed was hers, prosecutors said in a bond hearing proffer.
Witnesses reported that they saw the woman chasing the man on the ramp and striking him with a metal stake, which is meant for temporary fencing, prosecutors said.
The man attempted to defend himself with his hands as he continued to move through traffic on the expressway ramp, but the woman allegedly pushed the man, causing him to fall under a moving truck, and the truck rolled over his torso, according to the proffer.
After the truck rolled over the man, the woman continued to use the metal stake to beat him as he yelled for help, according to the proffer. The woman fled the area after a witness intervened, prosecutors said.
The man was transported to Lutheran General Hospital, where he later died. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as Eriberto Hernandez, age 47, of the 5800 block of West Lawrence Avenue.
The suspect, who was identified by Illinois State Police as Mary A. Normand, age 26, was later apprehended, and identified by witnesses as the woman with the stake, according to the proffer. She was denied bond and is being held at Cook County Jail, police said.
The suspect has faced drug-related and other charges in Chicago and Portland, Maine, according to court and police records.
Several residents have reported issues of panhandling on the Wilson ramp and others in the area, including the Lawrence Avenue exit ramp on the inbound Kennedy Expressway in Jefferson Park. A resident said that there was panhandling this week on the Wilson ramp.