Documents: Man Tells Cops 'Financial Gain' Was Reason for Murdering Mother

By Josh McGhee on December 24, 2013 10:58am | Updated on December 24, 2013 4:49pm

 Qaw'mane Wilson (r.) is accused of arranging the murder of his mother Yolanda Holmes in September 2012.
Qaw'mane Wilson (r.) is accused of arranging the murder of his mother Yolanda Holmes in September 2012.
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Family and Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A son who authorities say arranged to have his mother, a popular local beautician, killed is among three people charged in her 2012 slaying in Uptown.

Police said Tuesday that Qaw'mane Wilson, 24, of the 0-100 block of North Mayfield Ave., arranged to have his mother, Yolanda Holmes, murdered on Sept 2, 2012.

"I'm glad we got closure," Yunae Holmes, the victim's sister and Wilson's aunt, said Tuesday. "I'm trying to figure out why he would do such a thing. She did everything for him."

Wilson told police "financial gain" was the reason behind the murder. One week after Holmes' death, Wilson, her sole beneficiary, liquidated her bank accounts, collecting more than $90,000. He also was beneficiary of two of her life insurance policies, according to court documents.

Wilson was arrested Sunday and charged with murder and home invasion.

Loriana Johnson, 23, drove Eugene Spencer, 22, to the 1000 block of West Montrose Avenue, where Holmes was shot, police said. Both were arrested Monday. Johnson told police she drove Spencer to the North Side to commit a robbery, according to court documents.

Johnson, of the 300 block of East 131st Place, received the same charges as Wilson. Spencer, of the 6100 block of South Rockwell Street, was charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Spencer told police Wilson hired him to kill Holmes and admitted to shooting and stabbing her.

Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. held all three without bail Tuesday.

Yolanda Holmes was the proud owner of the Nappy Headz salon in Uptown for the past 15 years. She loved the freedom of having her own business and was an active member of the community.

Despite a 5-foot stature that earned her the nickname “shorty,” Yolanda, or “Yogi,” was a spirited bundle of energy, Holmes recalled. She loved to ride her bike, laugh, play spades and tell it like it is.

Yolanda was a cheerleader at Crane High School, and was featured in the 1986 movie “Wildcats.”

 Eugene Spencer (l.), Loriana Johnson and Qaw'mane Wilson are accused of killing Wilson's mother Yolanda Holmes in September 2012.
Eugene Spencer (l.), Loriana Johnson and Qaw'mane Wilson are accused of killing Wilson's mother Yolanda Holmes in September 2012.
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Chicago Police Department

She aged beautifully and still looked like a high-schooler, said Lorenzo Slater, Yolanda’s brother-in-law.

“It was irritating!” he said last year, laughing. “We were the same age, but everybody called me old, everybody called her young.”

She would throw back-to-school parties and hand out school supplies every year, said Tia Bouvia, a hairstylist at the salon and a friend of Holmes for more than 20 years.

In the salon, Holmes specialized in natural hair, and was beyond adept when it came to dread locking, twisting and braids, Bouvia said.

Clients also came to confide.

“She was very therapeutic for people who sat in her chair,” Bouvia said. “She was definitely a true friend.”

Holmes' salon was often used to host community events, such as back-to-school parties for neighborhood children.

The woman was known to Ald. James Cappleman (46th), who told ChicagoTalks, a project of Columbia College, that Holmes was "a very nice person."

"When I heard about her death, I was very saddened," Cappleman said.

Yunae Holmes, who ran the salon until July 2012 when she finally closed it, said family always came first for her sister.

Yolanda Holmes did Yunae Holmes’ hair every Sunday, and she loved taking the kids to the water park and spoiling them with new clothes and shoes, her sister said.

"She just wanted to take care of me and make sure I was OK,” Yunae Holmes said. “That’s been as far back as I can remember, since I was young."

Her sister's devotion to her family makes the charges against Wilson all the more puzzling, Yunae Holmes said.

"I was hoping it wasn't him," the aunt said. "At least we got closure. At least we know who did it."

Geoff Ziezulewicz contributed to this report.

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