Man gets life for murder of Alsip teen who was carrying his baby

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A Calumet City man has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of an 18-year-old woman who was nine-months pregnant with his child.

Deandre Minkens, 25, was convicted June 10 of murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child following a jury trial, according to Cook County court records.

Minkens and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Shante Thomas, spent several weeks developing a plan to murder Rosemary Newman, the Cook County sheriff’s office said at the time. Newman, 18, was nine-months pregnant with Minkens’ baby.

Minkens invited Newman to dinner at a Crestwood restaurant the night of April 23, 2011, while Thomas hid in the vehicle and waited for them, authorities said.

The couple returned to the vehicle and, as Minkens drove, Thomas emerged and began strangling Newman, authorities said. Both Minkens and Thomas then beat Newman until she was unconscious.

Minkens then drove to a Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet City, strangled Newman and dumped her body in the woods, authorities said.

A man walking his dog in the forest preserve the next morning discovered the body. About the same time, a missing person report was filed by Newman’s family, who called Alsip police after she failed to return home. 

Newman died of strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The sheriff’s office quickly identified Minkens and Thomas as suspects. During questioning, Minkens denied his involvement in the murder, but Thomas provided a detailed account of the crime, authorities said.

Judge Brian Flaherty sentenced Minkens to life in prison during a hearing Tuesday at the Markham courthouse, according to court records.

Thomas, of Dolton, was also convicted of murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child, according to court records. She is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 17.