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Woman gets 27 years for stabbing Uber driver to death with machete and knife

Eliza Wasni, who was 16 when she killed Grant Nelson, pleaded guilty to murder on Monday and was sentenced by Cook County Judge Timothy Chambers at the Skokie Courthouse.

Eliza Wasni was sentenced Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in the murder of Grant Nelson.
Eliza Wasni was sentenced Monday for the murder of Grant Nelson (left). At right is Nelson’s car following the 2017 crime.
GoFundMe/Sun-Times file

A 19-year-old Chicago woman was sentenced to 27 years in prison this week for hacking an Uber driver to death with a stolen knife and machete in an unprovoked attack in north suburban Lincolnwood.

Eliza Wasni, who was 16 when she killed Grant Nelson, pleaded guilty to murder on Monday and was sentenced by Cook County Judge Timothy Chambers at the Skokie Courthouse, court records show.

Wasni, a former Taft High School student, had been charged as an adult for the 2017 crime.

When she first appeared in court following her arrest three years ago, Judge Michael J. Hood called Wasni’s actions a “random act of violence.”

Eliza Wasni | Facebook
Eliza Wasni
Facebook

Before dawn on May 30, 2017, Wasni walked out of a 24-hour Walmart in Skokie with the weapons she shoplifted, called an Uber and was picked up by 34-year-old Nelson in his Hyundai Sonata, prosecutors said.

Within two minutes, the teen began attacking Nelson as the car approached the intersection of Touhy and Lincoln avenues, stabbing him repeatedly on the side of his arm, torso, head and chest, prosecutors said.

Nelson, of Wilmette, pulled up to a condo building in the 7200 block of Touhy Avenue, ran to the lobby and slammed on the door screaming for help. Responding officers followed a trail of blood and found him on the grass on the side of the building.

Wasni took Nelson’s car and drove it back toward Lincoln and Touhy avenues before she hit a median and fled the vehicle. Officers found Nelson’s phone in the car’s front seat and saw that Wasni was listed as his Uber passenger, prosecutors said.

Officers later spotted Wasni hiding behind a nearby office building in a blood-spattered Cubs shirt holding the bloody knife and machete.

Nelson, who a friend described as “the type to give you the shirt off his back,” was able to tell police his passenger had stabbed him before he died later that morning at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.