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Man accused of stabbing aunt to death in South Shore

Adebowale Awolola, 25, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing of 52-year-old Alaba Awolola.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
A 25-year-old man apparently suffering from a mental illness allegedly stabbed his aunt to death at her South Shore home over the weekend.
Sun-Times file

A 25-year-old man apparently suffering from a mental illness allegedly stabbed his aunt to death at her South Shore home over the weekend.

“I want to note this is a mental health case,” an assistant Cook County public defender said during Adebowale Awolola’s bond hearing Tuesday.

Judge Arthur Wesley Willis called Awolola a danger to the community, his family and “anyone he comes across.”

But he also noted that a mental breakdown appeared to play a role in Saturday’s deadly attack against 52-year-old Alaba Awolola in the 2900 block of East 78th Street.

“The court is always very concerned about individuals with mental health issues [and] the court always believes that treatment is the best way to deal with those individuals,” the judge said before ordering the younger Awolola held on $1 million bail.

Adebowale Awolola was not in court Tuesday because he was being evaluated at an area hospital.

Video surveillance at Alaba Awolola’s home showed her nephew enter the front door the night of the killing with his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend, prosecutors said,

The couple had picked Adebowale Awolola up earlier in the night in downstate Champaign after he called them crying, asking for a ride. Once in Chicago, Adebowale Awolola allegedly called his aunt and asked if he could come over, prosecutors said,

The couple said Adebowale Awolola and his aunt appeared to be acting friendly with each other and that the two had a close relationship because the elder Awolola had raised her nephew in Nigeria before they came to the United States.

The couple eventually left to attend a party, leaving the aunt and nephew and alone in the home.

Adebowale Awolola was seen leaving the house about 10 minutes later, prosecutors said, and no one else was seen entering the home until 9 a.m. Sunday when the same cousin found Alaba Awolola lying in a pool of blood in her living room, prosecutors said.

Adebowale Awolola was seen 10:30 p.m. Saturday outside La Rabida Children’s Hospital where he approached two Chicago police officers and asked for a ride to a downtown mosque, prosecutors said.

One of the officers noticed a cut to Adebowale Awolola’s hand and blood on his clothing and walked him to the hospital’s entrance after wrapping the wound in gauze, prosecutors said.

Surveillance cameras recorded Adebowale Awolola leaving the children’s hospital less than an hour later.

He then approached a detective on patrol and asked for an ambulance for his injured hand.

Adebowale Awolola was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital about midnight, where prosecutors said he told hospital staff that his aunt had attacked him and he defended himself with a knife.

“My aunt wanted to kill me for years. Today, I finally retaliated,” the young man allegedly told a doctor.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Alaba Awolola suffered nine stab wounds to her chest and abdomen and 11 stab wounds to her back, neck and lower thigh.

Adebowale Awolola is expected back in court Sept. 15.