A South Side man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole today after being convicted earlier this year for a rampage that left his wife and former girlfriend dead and eventually claimed the life of his father, officials said.
James Amison on Dec. 11 and 12, 2009, strangled his ex-wife, Tashika Smith, in Steger, shot his father, James Johnson, in Maywood and fatally shot a former girlfriend, Stephanie Reed, in Chicago.
Amison’s father died a little more than a year later.
A Cook County Criminal Court jury found Amison guilty in June, prosecutors said.
In a victim impact statement read in court today by Smith's brother, Rev. Paxton T. Collins said that Amison destroyed his family.
"He stole a life, and spirit of a person who had goals and dreams for a better life for her family, to help mankind as a social worker and a person who personified life," Collins said.
A Will County murder case involving his wife was transferred and became part of the Cook County case in which he was accused of killing his father and former girlfriend, court records show.
Prosecutors said at the time that Amison was convinced that his wife was having an affair with his father. Amison, now 40, was arrested a short time later after he tried to rob a South Side strip club, only to be shot by a patron.
In his trial defense attorneys tried to paint Amison as delusional, citing a videotaped statement to police in which he said he was convinced his father was having an affair with his wife and that family members had taken life insurance policies out on him and were trying to have him killed.
Amison was found mentally fit for trial last year.
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