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Cook County judge’s brother charged in deaths of sister and brother-in-law

Updated: January 18, 2012 12:25PM

The brother of a Cook County judge has been charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his sister and her husband, who were found dead in a home in Country Club Hills over the weekend, Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch said Tuesday.

Kenneth Rhodes, 50, who was living with the couple, was charged with murdering Nathaniel Bracy, 64, and Pauline Betts-Bracy, 54, who were found dead in the 19300 block of South Oakwood Avenue in Country Club Hills, Welch said.

The shootings Friday night followed a dispute in which Rhodes and Betts-Bracy argued over who owned the condominium in which they lived, Welch said. Earlier in the day, the couple had filed a police report over a domestic dispute involving Rhodes, who has an extensive criminal record.

Rhodes is the brother of Cook County Judge James L. Rhodes, who presides at the Markham courthouse, Welch said. He also is Betts-Bracy’s brother, according to Welch.

Rhodes was arrested Saturday in Chicago and is to appear in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building in Chicago on Wednesday.

According to court records, Rhodes was sentenced to state prison in a 1989 case for possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested in December 2007 for possession of cocaine and sentenced in September 2008 to 243 days in Cook County Jail, records show. He was arrested in January 2008 for possession of heroin and resisting a peace officer and pleaded guilty in September 2008 to possession of a controlled substance.

In May 2010, he was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge and three days of community service for an April 2010 battery charge. He finished his conditional discharge satisfactorily on May 25, 2011, court records show.

Autopsies performed Saturday found the Bracys each suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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