SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - After Terrance Meredith shot his fiancee in front of their 10-year-old daughter, he tried to persuade the girl that her mother was just “playing,” Cook County prosecutors said.
But then the victim, who had fallen onto the bed, started making gagging noises, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
So this time, 43-year-old Meredith allegedly told his daughter something else: That he’d have to kill her, too, since she was a witness.
The girl convinced Meredith she was on “his side” and he eventually ordered her to go to bed at their Roseland home.
But once Meredith closed the door to his bedroom, the girl ran out and went to her aunt’s house to tell her what had happened, Assistant State’s Attorney Erika Gilliam-Booker said at Meredith’s bond hearing Tuesday.
The fight early Monday between Meredith and 35-year-old Othijah Mooney grew so tense, at one point Mooney told the 10-year-old that she was going to go somewhere and wanted the girl to know she loved her and her siblings, Gilliam-Booker said.
The daughter first heard her parents arguing about 12:30 a.m. in the living room of the the home, in the 100 block of W. 112th Street. When she went to see what the commotion was about, the girl saw Meredith holding a butcher knife, Gilliam-Booker said.
The girl fled to Mooney’s room and Mooney followed, locking the door behind her.
But Meredith was able to open the door with the knife and then went to get his toolbox where he was known to keep his gun, Gilliam-Booker said.
Meredith returned with the knife in his pants and soon he started demanding that Mooney give him the car keys while pointing the weapon at her head, Gilliam-Booker said.
Mooney, also known as “Otha,” went to look for the keys in her daughter’s room. That’s when she told the girl she loved her and that she was going to go “somewhere,” Gilliam-Booker said.
When Mooney came back to her room, Meredith allegedly continued demanding the car keys while waving the gun around. Eventually, something — possibly the gun magazine — fell from the weapon and Meredith bent down to pick it up, Gilliam-Booker said.
Mooney then went to reach for the gun. Mooney and Meredith struggled, and Mooney was shot, Gilliam-Booker said.
After the girl fled to her aunt’s home, the aunt called police; the aunt told officers her niece had told her that her dad had shot her mom, Meredith’s arrest report indicated.
When officers arrived at the home, Meredith told them Mooney was dead inside, the report said.
It appeared to officers that Mooney’s body, which was in her bedroom, had been moved, Gilliam-Booker said, adding that there was a small handgun near her hand and a spent shell casing by her feet.
Meredith said the gun was his and police found 10 .25-caliber rounds in his front jacket pocket — rounds which matched the shell casing, Gilliam-Booker said. Meredith’s hands also have been tested for gunshot residue.
Assistant Public Defender Julie Koehler said Meredith, a Stagg High School graduate, has been a CTA maintenance worker for 20 years.
CTA officials weren’t immediately available for comment.
Judge James Brown ordered Meredith held without bond.