Civil Case Leads to Murder Charge
Posted Jun 11, 2007 12:31 PM CST
By Martha Neil
For years, Mary Miller thought she knew who had murdered her son, Jesse: his father. Chicago police agreed. But there wasn't enough evidence to charge Leroy Alexander with the 2002 crime, which took place at his home -- until now. Mary Miller sued her estranged husband in civil court over their son's death, winning a $7 million judgment earlier this year. But what she most wanted from the lawsuit, she says, was to develop further evidence that would lead to a murder charge against Alexander.
Last week, Miller got her wish: Alexander, 52, was charged on Friday with the murder of their 24-year-old son five years ago, and held in lieu of $600,000 bail, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jesse Miller was stabbed in the face at Alexander's home on the South Side of Chicago, where the two men had been living with Alexander's mother, an elderly woman with dementia. The three were the only persons present there at the time of the crime, according to authorities.
At the civil trial, an assistant medical examiner said Miller's grandmother lacked the strength to kill him. That left Alexander as the only person present who could have committed the murder, the Tribune article states, and a murder charge resulted.
But Lewis Myers, an attorney representing Alexander, says there is nothing new in the case justifying the murder charge. His client is innocent, and the murder charge is the result of a rush to judgment prompted by recent newspaper publicity about the case, Myers says. "He never was charged in this case in 2002, and it's the same allegations."