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Jurors weigh verdict in murder-for-hire killing of Uptown hairstylist

Qaw’mane Wilson | Chicago Police

Two juries late Tuesday still were weighing the fate of an aspiring rapper and the man prosecutors say he hired to kill his mother.

Prosecutors said that Qaw’mane “Young QC” Wilson sent co-defendant Eugene Spencer to kill his mother, hairstylist and business owner Yolanda Holmes, inside her Uptown apartment in 2012, so that Wilson could raid her bank accounts to fund a lavish lifestyle complete with custom cars, flashy jewelry and wads of $100 bills.

“For this man, her only son, it wasn’t enough. He needed more,” Assistant State’s Attorney Enrique Abraham told jurors during his closing argument. “She had to be dead for him to clean out her accounts, to get the fat stacks of cash, to get the fancy doors put on his mustang, to get the bling.”

Wilson and Spencer each face charges of first-degree murder, home invasion and attempted murder in the 2012 killing — Wilson as the mastermind of a scheme to kill his mother, Spencer as the killer who shot and stabbed her.

Separate juries shuttled in and out of the courtroom to hear testimony for the two co-defendants, who each gave confessions to police.

Spencer gave a rambling, changing account of the murder to police after his arrest, claiming that Wilson had sent him to Holmes’ apartment to drop off some clothing in the early hours of Sept. 2, 2012. Spencer first said he struggled with a man inside the apartment, whom Spencer said shot Holmes inside her bedroom, then gradually changed his story to admit shooting her, then stabbing her himself. Spencer said he believed Wilson had set him up, and his lawyers argued that the man he fought with, Holmes’ boyfriend, Curtis Wyatt, was a more likely suspect.

Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Gill reminded jurors that Spencer had also told detectives he’d been visited by a woman in his dreams, who had comforted him about Holmes’ death.

“Clearly, he’s a little off,” Gill said of her client.

Wilson had told detectives that Spencer concocted the plan as a robbery, but in his closing argument attorney, Joshua Richards compared the interrogation Wilson endured to “torture” — drawing an objection from prosecutors. Richards said Wilson’s free-spending ways after his mother died were not evidence that he had been involved in her murder.

“They’re putting those images (of Wilson tossing around money) to show that my client is a bad guy, that he’s not acting properly after his mother’s death,” Richards said.

Neither set of jurors had reached a verdict as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.