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Man charged with murder after woman he paralyzed dies

Leshard Jackson / Cook County Sheriff's Department

A man serving time for attempted murder for beating and paralyzing his girlfriend was charged with murder after the woman died.

Leshard Jackson was serving a 20-year sentence for choking Rhonda Stevenson on June 13, 2007.

As a result of the assault, Stevenson was paralyzed from the neck down and lived as a quadriplegic until she died April 11 at the age of 58 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Holly Grosshans said.

Earlier on the day Jackson attacked her, Stevenson drove to the 3rd District police station asking officers to remove Jackson from the car because he had refused to get out, Grosshans said.

When they returned home in the 2300 block of East 69th Street, they eventually started arguing again. At some point, Jackson choked Stevenson until she passed out, Grosshans said.

When Stevenson awoke, she couldn’t move. She asked Jackson to call an ambulance, Grosshans said. Jackson did but he told Stevenson to tell medical personnel she fell and hit her head, Grosshans said.

Stevenson was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she told staff that Jackson had choked her.

Jackson later wrote a handwritten statement admitting what he had done, Grosshans said.

Judge Donald Panarese ordered Jackson, 36, held on $2 million bail on Thursday for the murder charge.