A south suburban couple has been charged in the murder of a pregnant teen who was found strangled in a Cook County Forest Preserve near Calumet City just weeks before she was expecting to give birth to a baby girl.
Rosemary Newman's body was found early last Sunday by a man walking his dog, according to a statement from the Cook County Sheriff's office. She had been strangled and badly beaten.
On Thursday, the sheriff's office announced that Deandre Minkens, 20, and Shante Thomas, 19, had each been charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of intentional homicide of an unborn child for their roles in the Newman's death.
Minkens and Thomas had allegedly been plotting to kill Newman, who was pregnant with Minkens' child, for several weeks.
The sheriff's office explained what happened next in a press release:
Last Saturday night, Minkens invited Newman to dinner at a Crestwood restaurant while Thomas hid in the vehicle, waiting for them to come back. The couple returned to the car and as Minkens drove east, Thomas emerged and began strangling Newman. Both Minkens and Thomas then proceeded to beat the victim until she was unconscious. Minkens then drove to a Cook County Forest Preserve near Calumet City, where he strangled Newman to death and dumped her body in the woods.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told the Chicago Sun-Times more disturbing details about the murder plot:
When Deandre Minkens turned up the volume on “I Hate You,” by the Sick Puppies, Thomas emerged from the trunk with a cell phone charger cord and started strangling 18-year-old Rosemary Newman of Alsip.
Dart also said the couple went to a nightclub after dumping Newman's body.
Minkens was brought in for questioning after Newman's body was discovered Sunday. He denied involvement, but Thomas "ultimately provided investigators with a detailed account of the murder," police said.
Newman's family told the Chicago Tribune the teen was excited about becoming a mother, and enrolled in GED classes at a southwest suburban community college hoping to learn a trade and raise her daughter on her own. She reportedly scribbled a note to her family Saturday, telling them she had a date. They reported her missing after she didn't return home.
“Since she got pregnant, she didn’t do anything but go to class, go to doctor’s appointments and run her little errands with my mom,” her brother Michael Newman told the Tribune. “She was a good girl.”
Minkens was denied bail during a Friday morning bond hearing, and Thomas was ordered held on $3 million bond.
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