Man told police he shot girlfriend while she sat in bed eating McDonald’s: prosecutors

Joseph West was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 40-year-old Senita Harper in the 200 block of West 92nd Street.

SHARE Man told police he shot girlfriend while she sat in bed eating McDonald’s: prosecutors
A Morton College student was charged Nov. 15, 2019, after weapons were found in his parked while he attended class.

A 30-year-old man was charged with a fatal shooting March 23, 2021, in the 200 block of West 92nd Street.

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A 30-year-old man charged with murdering his girlfriend in Princeton Park before engaging in an armed standoff with Chicago police was ordered held without bail Thursday.

Senita Harper, 40, was found dead Tuesday inside her and Joseph West’s apartment, in the 200 block of West 92nd Street.

Following his arrest for Harper’s murder, West initially invoked his Miranda rights. But after he was read his rights again, he admitted to police he shot Harper to death while she sat in bed eating McDonald’s, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said.

Harper’s mother had gone to the residence that day after learning Harper didn’t show up for her receptionist job at Jackson Park Hospital the night before, Deboni said.

West met Harper’s mother at the door, told her that her daughter “wasn’t doing well” and directed her upstairs. There, the woman found Harper’s cold body covered in blood, Deboni said.

Harper’s mother left the apartment and called 911 and a relative, who called West’s father, Deboni said.

Joseph West arrest photo

Joseph West

Chicago police

At 12:20 p.m. officers responded to a call of an armed man holding a woman inside a home, police said. West allegedly refused to surrender and a SWAT team was called to assist officers.

West talked with his father on the phone and admitted to killing Harper, but did not say why, Deboni said. West surrendered roughly 40 minutes later and called 911 to say he had removed the magazine from his gun and placed it in a separate room, Deboni said.

Authorities found Harper’s body with at least eight gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Deboni said.

A gun and shell casings were recovered, which matched the caliber of bullets recovered from Harper’s body, prosecutors said.

Both of West’s hands tested positive for gunshot residue, Deboni said.

West had recently been taking classes in cyber security through the University of Phoenix, an assistant public defender said.

While he awaits trial, West cannot speak about the case with his father or have contact with other witnesses, Judge Mary Marubio ordered.

West is expected back in court April 12.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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