Jury deliberating fate of man accused of killing grandfather

CHICAGO (STMW) - Cook County jurors Thursday began deliberating the fate of a 22-year-old South Side man accused of shooting his grandfather to death so he and his grandmother could spend the elderly man’s money.

The bench trial of 67-year-old Janet Strickland, who is alleged to have coaxed William Strickland to pull the trigger, also took place before Judge James Linn this week. But her trial was continued to March 21, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Assistant Public Defender Christopher Anderson said his client was out escorting his girlfriend and her friend at a party “way up north” when Janet Strickland got a man nicknamed “Black” to shoot her husband of nearly 30 years.

However, prosecutors said once “Black” backed out of the plan through a sudden moral awakening or “sheer laziness,” William Strickland stepped up to the plate to fulfill his grandmother’s deadly request on March 2, 2013.

The 72-year-old victim, also named William Strickland, was gunned down as he made his way outside his home in the 400 block of East 95th Street to catch a ride for his weekend dialysis appointment about 3:30 a.m. that morning.

Only someone close to older William Strickland would know his routine, Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Poje said in his closing arguments.

“This was the epitome of an inside job,” Poje said.

The younger William Strickland allegedly used the older William Strickland’s gun to shoot the senior citizen multiple times in the back.

“Our families are supposed to be a lifelong source of unconditional love and support,” Poje said.

After the younger William Strickland allegedly killed his grandfather, whom he was named after and lived with, he spent the elder’s money to buy a car, a cellphone and some tattoos.

“He did it for nothing more than greed. It wasn’t enough that he had a roof over his head,” Poje said.

Prosecutor Christa Bowden reminded jurors that even if the younger William Strickland only solicited his grandfather’s death, he would be guilty of murder.

The older William Strickland “thought he had a family to rely on in his golden years,” Bowden said. “Instead he got six bullets.”