Man charged in fatal shooting of pregnant woman on South Side

Stacey Jones, 35, was shot and killed in the 2100 block of East 95th Place on Oct. 13. Authorities found her unresponsive with two gunshot wounds to her back.

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Stacey Jones, 35, who was eight months pregnant, was found unresponsive early Tuesday with two gunshots in her back on the porch of her home in the 2100 block of East 95th Street.

Stacey Jones, 35, was shot and killed in the 2100 block of East 95th Place on Oct. 13.

Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times file

A Chicago Park District employee described as a pillar in the Englewood community has been accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend in a shooting that ultimately led to the death of a 4-day-old boy thought to be his son.

Corey Deering, 39, had his current girlfriend, who is also pregnant with his presumed child, drive him to the home of his ex-girlfriend, Stacey Jones, early on Oct. 13, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Deering then spray-painted the letters “KKK” and a racial slur on Jones’ building in the 2100 block of East 95th Street, prosecutors said.

Jones, 35, a Cook County probation officer who was eight months pregnant, apparently noticed someone outside her home, got her gun and went to investigate, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said surveillance video showed Jones looking outside the home and then appeared to recognize the man outside. After a brief conversation, she walked out her door and then walked in front of the man, whose face is not seen, and was shot multiple times in the back.

“Clearly from that, she knows the person,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. “If this was an unknown individual or some stranger danger or anyone like that, she never would have done that. Her gun would have been out of her holster before she opened that door.”

Jones was found unresponsive outside the home and taken to a hospital. Her son was delivered but died four days later.

Prosecutors didn’t discuss a motive for the shooting. At a news conference Friday, police officials said they believe Jones’ pregnancy drove Deering to kill her.

“It appears that he’s the father of this child, and it appears that he didn’t want her to carry the pregnancy through,” CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said. “It doesn’t make any sense to go this far, but this is the way that he chose to resolve it.”

Shortly after Jones’ death, detectives learned her romantic relationship with Deering had recently ended. Deenihan said Deering went so far as to threaten Jones’ life.

“The victim had conveyed to some of her friends that the father told her she would never make it through the pregnancy,” Deenihan said.

Prosecutors said Jones had told family and friends she planned to hire a private investigator in an effort to file a claim against Deering for child support.

Detectives arrested Deering the day of the shooting due to “several inconsistencies” in his initial interview. He was released two days later because investigators did not have enough evidence to file charges, Deenihan said.

deering.jpeg

Corey Deering

Chicago police photo

Prosecutors said Friday surveillance video showed a silver SUV dropping off a man on that block, just before the shooting. The man, wearing a black sweatshirt with an orange logo, approached Jones’ home with a flashlight.

A license plate reader identified the SUV as being registered to Deering’s current girlfriend, who told investigators she picked up Deering at his home before the shooting, drove him to the block and waited for him to return, prosecutors said.

Though she heard a gunshot and said Deering returned to her car out of breath, they did not discuss the noise, prosecutors said. The woman, who is not facing charges, then allegedly dropped him off at his home.

A cellphone video Deering recorded of himself a little more than hour before the shooting showed him wearing a sweatshirt that matched the one seen on surveillance video in Jones’ block, prosecutors said. Deering’s cellphone was turned off around the time of the shooting and he allegedly his took his current girlfriend’s phone and placed it in his garage before they left that night.

Deering was arrested again Oct. 21, with Deenihan crediting anti-violence activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes with helping to broker Deering’s surrender to police.

He faces two counts of first-degree murder and a life sentence if convicted.

Deering has been employed by the Chicago Park District for 17 years. A park district spokeswoman said Deering was placed “on emergency suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Prosecutors said Deering met both Jones and his current girlfriend through coaching sports activities their children were involved in.

Andre Grant, a private defense attorney for Deering, said his client was a “pillar of his community,” particularly in Englewood, where he volunteered for numerous organizations that promote anti-violence, reading and sports.

Grant said Deering lives on the South Side with his wife and is a father of 10 children. He said the woman who allegedly drove Deering to Jones’ home had the greatest motive to “kill what she perceived to be a rival.”

“It’s simply a high-profile case, and because of that there’s a rush to judgment,” Grant said.

Judge Arthur Wesley Willis ordered Deering held without bail during his initial hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Deering was expected to return to court Nov. 12.

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