By Naomi Nix and Carlos Sadovi
8:47 AM EDT, April 7, 2013
A 64-year-old woman has been charged along with her grandson in the slaying of her 72-year-old husband, who was killed on his way to dialysis treatment, police said.
The woman and her grandson then used the slain man's money to buy a car, home furnishings, tattoos, gym shoes and other items, prosecutors said.
Janet Strickland, of the 400 block of East 95th Street, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery with a firearm in connection to the March 2 homicide of her husband William Strickland.
Bail was set at $500,000 for Janet Strickland yesterday.
Prosecutors alleged Janet Strickland and her grandson, also named William Strickland, discussed killing her husband on multiple occasions.
Before the shooting, Janet Strickland told her grandson that she was "sick" of his grandfather and that she wanted him dead, prosecutors allege.
"She stated ... that she wished he was not here and she wanted him gone," Assistant State's Attorney Jacqueline Kwilos said during the bond hearing.
On the Thursday before the shooting, Strickland told her grandson that she wanted it done on the next Saturday, Kwilos said.
Initially the two had discussed having someone else kill him, but Strickland later told his grandmother he would do the shooting himself, Kwilos alleged.
According to prosecutors, Strickland admitted that when she unlocked the door to let her husband leave for his dialysis appointment early in the morning of March 2 she knew he would be killed by her grandson.
She also admitted to knowing her grandson had his grandfather's gun, and to letting him use her car during the shooting, Kwilos said.
Janet Strickland was a beneficiary of her husband's accounts, including his bank account. After the shooting, the two went on a shopping spree with the victim's money, according to Kwilos.
She used his money to buy her grandson a car and home furnishings. The younger Strickland also bought himself tattoos, gym shoes and a new phone.
Janet Strickland did not appear in court, instead being held in a hospital for treatment of lung disease and low oxygen, police said. She was arrested Thursday on the 400 block of East 111th Street after being identified by a witness, according to court documents.
Strickland's grandson William D. Strickland, 19, of the 400 block of East 95th Street, was ordered held without bail on March 30, accused of shooting his grandfather six times in the back.
The elder William Strickland was shot about 3:30 a.m. on March 2 outside his home in the South Side's Burnside neighborhood, according to police.
The elder Strickland was standing outside waiting for a Pace bus near his home when he was shot, on his way to a weekly dialysis appointment, prosecutors said.
Police recovered 25 bullet shell casings at the scene, prosecutors said.
The younger Strickland admitted to stealing the gun used in the murder from his grandfather, prosecutors said.
According to court documents, the younger Strickland, also known as "Dashaun," used a black Beretta semi-automatic handgun in his grandfather's murder.
Strickland is a self-admitted member of the Black P. Stones street gang, according to court documents.
Strickland has "Legacy," "Loyalty," and "Respect" tattooed on his arms, according to court documents.
By all appearances, Janet Strickland and her husband William seemed like a quiet, happy couple, neighbors said.
In the summers, they barbequed. Around the holidays, they put up elaborate Christmas decorations on their red and brown bungalow.
Music from the likes of Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson could often be heard blaring from their yard.
And Janet often smelled like she had been cooking a good meal, said Theolene Shears, 84, who lives next door.
"He always praised her, the things she did," said Shears. "She was a good housekeeper. She kept him well fed."
"He seemed very happy with her and she with him," said Shears as she sat down on the floor outside her kitchen.
"That's what's so surprising," said Leon Shears, Theolene's husband of 61 years.
The series of developments unfolding about the slaying of William Strickland continue to shock those living along 95th street.
"I've had three shocks this month," said Theolene Shears. "It's like a movie."
"We regret that this happened," she added.
Another neighbor remembered the elder Strickland as friendly.
"He was a good guy. He talked to everyone in the neighborhood," said Mario Farmer, 50, who lives two doors down.
"They seemed like they was all right," said Farmer, as he was taking a drag of his cigarette on his front porch. "I never seen them arguing, but they stayed inside the house most of the time."
Farmer said the arrest of Janet Strickland was a big surprise.
"I never would have expected that," said Farmer. "It's a shock."
Farmer said he saw the younger Strickland with a used red car with no tags -- maybe a 2004 Chevrolet -- about two weeks after the shooting. At one point he was putting in a new sound system with a group of friends.
"He was hooking it up, but I was surprised he had it so quick because he wasn't working," Farmer said.
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