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Woman Charged With Murder After Chicago Teen Rammed Into Tree

Police said the teen was murdered after a woman repeatedly rammed her into a tree with a car on the city’s Far South Side

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    A 24-year-old woman was charged with murder in a grisly attack that left a teenager, the daughter of a Chicago police officer, dead over the weekend.

    (Published Monday, May 15, 2017)

    A 24-year-old woman was charged with murder in a grisly attack that left a teenager, the daughter of a Chicago police officer, dead over the weekend. 

    Chynna Stapleton, of Chicago, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the gruesome killing of 18-year-old Tatyanna Lewis Friday night. Police said the teen was murdered after a woman repeatedly rammed her into a tree with a car on the city’s Far South Side.

    The incident occurred around 11:10 p.m. in the 11400 block of S. May Street in the city's Morgan Park neighborhood, according to police.

    Officials said Lewis and the 24-year-old woman were in a verbal argument when the woman entered an SUV and chased Lewis down the sidewalk.

    She then crashed into the teen, repeatedly striking her against a tree before fleeing, authorities said.

    Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    She died from multiple blunt-force injuries, the medical examiner found, and her death was ruled a homicide.

    Bystanders said the SUV jumped the curb at a high rate of speed, tearing through the front lawn before the crash. 

    “As soon as I looked out my window I saw a girl being rammed into the tree, and ran over and backed over and over again,” said witness Brittany Patrick. “She hit my car, backing over the body and then backed back over the body and got away.”

    Just hours before her death, Lewis had posted on Facebook about a possible impending confrontation, with neighbors saying the argument was over a man.

    Community activist and anti-violence advocate Andrew Holmes said a child was in the backseat of the car at the time, calling the incident “very disturbing.”

    “I mean, an altercation between two females, two women and one was a mother – and it went wrong,” Holmes said.

    The 24-year-old woman fled the scene but was later apprehended by police, authorities said. Investigators recovered the SUV about a mile and a half away, near West 115th and South LaSalle Streets. 

    Stapleton, who police allege also crashed into numerous other vehicles while fleeing the scene, was ordered held without bail Monday. Her public defender, Christ Anderson, had asked for the charges to be dropped to second-degree murder but the judge said in court that Stapleton is a threat to herself and society. 

    "My daughter is not a monster," Stapleton's father, Jesse Stapleton, said at the courthouse. 

    Stapleton is scheduled to appear in court again on June 2.