When the first-degree murder charge came down on Monday, the judge sounded off from the bench on what led to the death of a Chicago police officer’s teenage daughter.
“It’s really sad that it’s always women fighting over men. Ridiculous,” said Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Prosecutors say that on Friday, 24-year-old Chynna Stapleton used a Jeep as a battering ram to pin teenager Tatyanna Lewis against a tree, then backed up and ran over her again.
Lewis, the daughter of a Chicago police officer, died of multiple blunt force injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Prosecutors said the two women had an ongoing feud on social media over Lewis’ boyfriend, the father of one of Stapleton’s three children.
Stapleton was allegedly angry about the new relationship between Lewis and her child’s father, reports WLS in Chicago. Prosecutors gave Lewis’ age as 19, though the Chicago Police Department said she was 18.
Alleged taunting on Facebook led to a face-to-face altercation between the two women in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood about 11:30 p.m. on Friday.
The drama turned into a fistfight joined by others, witnesses told police.
After the fight broke up, Stapleton, left bloody in the brawl, got into a 2002 Jeep Liberty with a 13-year-old girl in the backseat, witnesses said.
Lewis reportedly kicked the passenger-side door as Stapleton started to drive away. Witnesses told police they heard Stapleton yell, “I’ve got something for you!”
That’s when Stapleton, witnesses said, drove the Jeep over the curb, over the sidewalk and lawns and toward Lewis, who tripped as she ran away.
Prosecutors say Stapleton hit Lewis and pushed her into a tree. Lewis’ body was trapped against the Jeep as Stapleton put the Jeep in reverse, backed away from the tree then drove forward again, rolling over Lewis.
Stapleton’s brother told the The Chicago Sun-Times his sister was only responding to being attacked.
“She was fighting for her life,” the brother, who was not named, told the newspaper after his sister’s day in court on Monday.
“They jumped my sister. She was just trying to leave. Everybody is against her. That lawyer, state’s attorney, whatever, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Witnesses say Stapleton fled the scene. When police pulled her over not even two miles away, her face was bleeding, pieces of wood were stuck to the front of the Jeep and the windshield was cracked where Lewis’ head hit it, prosecutors said.
“Not only did you hit her, you dragged her,” Judge Ciesil told Stapleton in court Monday. “All the while you’ve got a 13-year-old in the back seat. ... You are a danger to yourself and society.”
The 13-year-old was not injured, police said. WLS reported the teenager in the Jeep wasn’t Stapleton’s child.
“It’s unfortunate that there might have been people there that didn’t try to defuse the situation,” community activist Andrew Holmes told the Sun-Times.
Assistant Public Defender Chris Anderson said Stapleton had no prior criminal record and had hoped prosecutors would reduce the charge to second-degree murder because Lewis allegedly started the brawl that led to her death.
Ciesil denied bail for Stapleton.