She was kidnapped, raped, forced to watch her husband’s murder, then dumped in the trunk of her car and set on fire.
But the south suburban woman survived her horrific ordeal and helped police catch the two men who made her a widow, prosecutors said.
On Sunday — seven months after the brutal killing of 56-year-old Ford plant worker Eugene White — the second alleged attacker, Leonard Small, 22, finally appeared in court, charged with a laundry list of felonies, including first degree murder.
Cook County Judge Adam D. Bourgeois denied him bail, telling Small he would “never be on the streets again.”
Relatives of both Small and his alleged victim sobbed and gasped in court as Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jason Coelho detailed the allegations.
White’s wife had met Small and another defendant — Calvin Griffin, 22, of Gary — at a party in Chicago Heights on Nov. 28 last year, Coelho said.
But when she drove with them in her car to buy liquor at a gas store, Small pulled out a handgun and sexually assaulted her, it’s alleged.
The men then drove her to a Ford Heights address, where they forced entry using an AK47 assault rifle and stole possessions from a man who escaped unharmed when Griffin fired shots at him, the prosecutor said.
They then drove the woman to White’s Lynwood home, shot White after a struggle, drove his wife to a remote location and sexually assaulted her again before dousing her in lighter fluid and setting her alight in the trunk of her car, Coelho said.
They told her she needed to “take a nap” so that she could not tell anyone what had happened before setting her on fire, Coelho added. When she managed to douse the flames, they told her “good night” and tried to torch the entire car with her in it, but she escaped by opening the trunk from the inside and ran to a nearby home to call 911, the prosecutor said.
She later identified both Griffin and Small, he said.
Griffin was arrested and charged in February; Small was arrested last week after guns used in the attack and possessions stolen in the two home invasions were recovered in a raid of his Chicago Heights home, Coelho said.
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