Man accused of strangling, stabbing girlfriend with knife he packed with Christmas presents

JC Moore | Chicago police

A 43-year-old man strangled his girlfriend and repeatedly stabbed her with a knife he brought in a bag full of Christmas presents to an Englewood home where the couple was staying for the holidays, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.

JC Moore maintained that Latoya Funches stabbed herself seven times in the neck Saturday morning, prosecutors said. Moore, who weighs 220 pounds, also said the roughly 115-pound Funches attacked him first for no reason at the residence in the 5500 block of South Halsted Street. But right after the murder, Moore admitted to his father that he may have killed Funches, 43, following an argument, prosecutors said.

Moore’s father encouraged him to turn himself in, and drove him to the 6th District station.

Moore and Funches had spent Christmas Day at a home with Funches’ family members and went to bed about 2 a.m. Saturday, prosecutors said.

Moore told police Funches had been "treating him badly and constantly putting him down" and the pair began arguing in the middle of sex, prosecutors said.

Moore said he placed the knife he had in a bag with gifts on a shelf near the bed and that he thought Funches was reaching for it as he restrained and got on top of her, prosecutors said.

Moore allegedly claimed he went on to choke her as she grabbed for the knife and stabbed herself several times in the neck, prosecutors said. Moore said he then got dressed and knocked on Funches’ family members’ bedroom doors before leaving, prosecutors said.

When the others woke up several hours later, Moore sent a message, asking them to check on Funches, prosecutors said.

Relatives found Funches’ lifeless body in bed with stab wounds. An autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office also revealed she had hemorrhaging in her eyes — a sign of strangulation, prosecutors said.

Investigators used CTA surveillance video to track Moore’s steps after the murder. He could be seen going to the Garfield Red Line station, where he was picked up by his father, prosecutors said.

Moore has a 16-year-old boy who lives with his mother in Tennessee, his defense attorney told Judge David Navarro.

Moore, who was ordered held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder, is expected back in court Jan. 15.