Sherry Halligan, the 54-year-old former La Grange woman who spent seven years as a fugitive from the law, has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of her boyfriend, Dennis Campbell, in a southern La Grange home in 2003.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Halligan showed no reaction to the verdict, while Campbell’s family hugged. The family told The Doings La Grange that while the outcome was what they had wanted, it would never be enough.
“Justice is never going to be served as long as my uncle is dead and she’s walking on earth,” Liz Ford, Campbell’s niece, told the paper. “There wasn’t a better man on earth. I miss him every day.”
After the shooting on Jan. 30, 2003, Halligan turned herself in to police, confessed to the shooting and was freed on $50,000 bond. She failed to appear for a court hearing on April 21, 2004, and a murder warrant was issued for her arrest.
She was finally recaptured on July 16, 2010, in a Palos Hills condominium just 10 miles from the scene of the shooting, having been recognized by a neighbor shortly after appearing on the Chicagoland Most Wanted list. She had been living under the name Cathy White and had dyed her blonde hair dark red. (Read more details of the crime and arrest on La Grange Patch here.)
According to The Doings, on the stand, Halligan claimed Campbell had beaten and abused her, as had previous boyfriends, and that she feared for her life and acted in self-defense after he attempted to force her to sleep with his boss.
Meanwhile, prosecuting attorneys said that Halligan was a calculating killer who shot Campbell five times when he tried to break up with her, then shut a door so she couldn't hear him die, the Tribune reported.
Presiding judge John Hynes (who is also presiding over the trial of John L. Wilson) said that the prosecution's expert testimony on abuse, as well as inconsistencies in Halligan's stories, were more convincing than defense testimony, reported The Doings.
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