Son and hitman found guilty in murder-for-hire of Uptown hairstylist
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Aspiring rapper Qaw’mane “Young QC” Wilson and the man he hired to kill his mother, Uptown hairstylist Yolanda Holmes, were found guilty of murder by separate juries.
Jurors in Wilson’s case returned their verdict just over two hours after closing arguments Tuesday.
Jurors weighing evidence against gunman Eugene Spencer deliberated until almost midnight, then returned Wednesday morning. Spencer’s jury reached a verdict around 1 p.m., after a total of nearly 12 hours over the two days.
Holmes’ sister and aunt sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery, wearing black, as the forewoman read off guilty verdicts on counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and home invasion against Spencer. Wilson was found guilty of the same three charges.
Holmes’ murder in 2012 and the murder charges against her son nearly a year later had “torn a hole” in the close-knit family, said Sondra Jackson, Holmes’ aunt, who attended each day of the weeklong trial with a group of relatives — always sitting on the side of the courtroom behind prosecutors.
“After all this, we still don’t understand why he did it,” Jackson said. “We are just happy to have this over.”
Prosecutors said Wilson sent Spencer to Holmes’ North Side apartment in the early-morning hours of Sept. 2, 2012, to kill Holmes so that Wilson could raid her bank accounts.
Records showed Wilson withdrew nearly $70,000 from his mother’s accounts in the months after her death, and spent the money on flashy clothes, customizing his car and, in an episode that Wilson filmed and posted on YouTube, simply withdrew cash and threw bills to his “fans.”
Spencer gave a lengthy, but shifting, confession to Chicago police detectives, first claiming that Wilson had sent him to Holmes’ apartment around 4 a.m. to drop off clothing.
At the door to the apartment, Spencer said he encountered a man he identified as the killer and struggled with him. Initially, Spencer told detectives he only heard gunshots after the man ran into the bedroom, and that he believed Wilson had tried to set him up to also be killed.
He then gave several different versions as detectives pressured him, stating he dropped the gun and it went off, then that the gun went off as he grappled with the man, and finally admitting to shooting Holmes and then stabbing her.
Spencer’s lawyers had sought to point the finger at the man Spencer fought, Curtis Wyatt, a boyfriend of Holmes who had spent the night at her house the night of the killing after a several monthslong breakup.
Wyatt identified Spencer as a man who opened fire on him and Holmes as the couple lay asleep in bed. Wyatt said Spencer hit him with the gun, which he left behind at the scene, and that Wyatt managed to fight him off and chase Spencer out of the apartment.
Wilson also gave a more brief confession to police, claiming that Spencer had come up with the idea to rob Holmes, but that they had never planned to kill her. He told detectives meekly, “It was supposed to be a robbery.” Spencer said Wilson had offered him $3,500, but paid him only $70.