Gregory L. Pearson, 49, is accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend May 19, 2017, at the South Chicago neighborhood apartment they shared. (Chicago police photo /)
A South Side man who prosecutors say fatally shot his live-in girlfriend last month at the apartment they shared wrote a note claiming the shooting was in self-defense, but never called 911 and had to be tracked down weeks later in a suburban motel, prosecutors said Saturday.
Gregory L. Pearson, 49, is charged with first-degree murder in the May 19 slaying of Tina D. Brown, 53, in their home in the 8800 block of South Essex Avenue. Judge Laura Sullivan denied bail and barred the man from contacting anyone connected to the case.
Fugitive trackers traced Pearson to a motel in south suburban Lansing and caught up with him Thursday night. There, authorities found and confiscated a holstered chrome-plated .357 Magnum handgun with six live rounds from his nightstand, authorities said. That weapon is believed to have been the firearm that fatally wounded Brown, according to prosecutors.
After his arrest, Pearson told authorities that Brown put a knife to his throat during a quarrel at the home and that he shoved her away before shooting her as she braced herself against a cabinet, Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Carlson told the court.
Brown’s daughter discovered her mother’s body in a pool of blood at their apartment at about 12:30 a.m. after returning home from a military ball, prosecutors said. Surveillance video from the apartment building showed Pearson arriving at the apartment a day before the homicide, but did not show him leaving until an hour after Brown is believed to have been killed.
A neighbor reported hearing “a loud pop” coming from Brown’s apartment about 90 minutes after she returned home the day of the slaying, prosecutors said.
After police arrived, they found a blood-stained knife about a foot-and-a-half from Brown’s body, along with a note written by Pearson claiming that he shot the woman in self defense. “There are no records of the defendant calling 911,” Carlson said.
Though Pearson claimed that he shot the victim while standing about 10 to 12 feet away, during Brown’s autopsy “no evidence was found to suggest a gun was fired at a close range to the victim,” Carlson said.
A relative of Brown sitting in the courtroom gallery uttered "Rot in Hell" toward Pearson as both she and Pearson left the courtroom. Pearson, dressed in a Motown Revue “Hitzville” T-shirt, didn’t appear to hear the remark, joking with another detainee as he was escorted out.
Pearson is expected to return to court next week.