Chicago man accused of arranging his mom’s murder
BY JON SEIDEL and BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporters December 24, 2013 11:16AM
Qawmane Wilson / photo from Chicago Police
Updated: January 26, 2014 6:23AM
Qawmane Wilson’s devotion to his mother is inked on his right shoulder, where he has tattooed the name “Yolanda Holmes.”
But it seems that devotion was only skin deep, now that Cook County prosecutors have accused him of arranging the woman’s murder and cashing in on her assets in the weeks that followed.
The allegations made in a Christmas Eve court hearing Tuesday at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building left family members in tears. They collapsed in the hallway when it was over.
Wilson, 24, of the first block of North Mayfield, is charged with murder and home invasion for the September 2012 slaying of Yolanda Holmes, 45, his mother.
Holmes owned a beauty salon, Knappy Headz, at 4141 North Broadway. She was found dead in her Uptown apartment in the 1000 block of West Montrose last year.
Also charged are Eugene J. Spencer, 22, of the 6000 block of South Rockwell, and Loriana D. Johnson, 23, of the 300 block of East 131st Place.
Spencer, the alleged triggerman, is charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Johnson, his alleged driver, is charged with murder and home invasion.
Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered all three held without bail after hearing details of what he called a “heinous act.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Maura White told him Holmes was sleeping in her apartment Sept. 2, 2012, with her on-and-off boyfriend when her son called to tell her he was on his way over.
The boyfriend then woke to a black male firing a handgun in his direction, White said. That black male was later identified as Spencer, she said.
The two men began to struggle, she said, and Spencer allegedly pistol-whipped the boyfriend. That fight continued in the hallway, she said, until Spencer was able to escape.
The boyfriend called police, White said, and Holmes was pronounced dead after they arrived at the scene.
Court records allege Spencer stabbed Holmes multiple times with a knife.
Police interviewed Wilson two days later, White said, and he gave them his cell phone number. One week later, she said, Wilson liquidated Holmes’ bank accounts worth more than $90,000.
She said Wilson was Holmes’ sole beneficiary and was also the beneficiary of two of Holmes’ life insurance policies.
An analysis of Wilson’s phone records revealed he made several calls to Spencer and Johnson before, during and after the murder, White said.
Wilson admitted after his arrest Sunday he set up his mother’s robbery for financial gain, White said, and implicated Spencer and Johnson.
Police arrested Spencer and Johnson, an employee at a Markham beauty supply store, Monday. White said Spencer admitted Wilson hired him to kill Holmes and admitted shooting and stabbing the woman and fighting with her boyfriend.
Johnson admitted driving Spencer to the North Side to commit a robbery, White said.
The boyfriend picked Spencer out of a line-up Monday, White said.
Wilson has previously been convicted of committing unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2009, White said. Ayonna Anderson, one of Holmes’ friends, told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday she was stunned to learn Wilson might be involved in his mother’s death.
“She gave him everything he wanted,” said Anderson, a hair stylist who worked in Holmes’ salon. “He wasn’t hurting for nothing. Why would you have your mother killed?”
Anderson said Holmes was a single mother and that Wilson, as a boy, would often spend time at the salon.
“He was a salon baby,” Anderson said. “Everybody know him. We would never think he was capable of doing that. She was a great mom.”