COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A suburban man murdered the mother of one of his children in front of multiple kids Saturday as the woman tried to break up a fight in Marquette Park, prosecutors said.
Eddie Crowder, 50, was denied bail Tuesday in the bloody attack, which left 36-year-old Elizabeth Kennedy dead and two others wounded in the 3300 block of West Marquette Road about 7:40 p.m. Saturday.
According to prosecutors, Kennedy had one child with Crowder. She also had two children, ages 13 and 16, with a 34-year-old man. Kennedy and the man had arranged to exchange custody of the 13-year-old at the man's father's house on Saturday.
The man arrived with his girlfriend and their 11-year-old twins, Assistant State's Attorney Jason Coelho said Tuesday during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.
Kennedy brought the 13-year-old child to the Marquette Park home, prosecutors said, and Crowder arrived with the 34-year-old man's 75-year-old father. It is not clear why they were together.
Everyone gathered outside, Coelho said.
At one point, according to prosecutors, the 34-year-old man took Crowder aside to discuss an incident that occurred roughly two months prior. The 34-year-old believed Crowder "became physical" with the man's 16-year-old son during a dispute, Coelho said.
Crowder "became irate" during the conversation and cursed at the 34-year-old, according to Coelho.
The two fathers soon came to blows — with Kennedy and the 75-year-old man trying to intervene, prosecutors said. The 75-year-old was knocked to the ground. As his son tried to help him up, authorities said, Crowder pulled out a knife and started swinging.
Kennedy was fatally stabbed in her chest and wrist, while the 34-year-old man suffered stab wounds to his his head, forearms and back, prosecutors said. His 75-year-old father was stabbed in his hand. Both men required stitches.
Crowder ran away, Coelho said, and was arrested at his suburban Oak Lawn home later that evening. Police found a three- or four-inch blade in Crowder's pocket; he told authorities it was the same weapon used in the attack.
Crowder is charged with first-degree murder.
According to his public defender, Crowder is a high-school graduate who has five children. He previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps, the attorney said, and now works as a locomotive engineer.
Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. on Tuesday called Crowder a "real and present threat and danger" based on the current allegations and Crowder's four prior arrests for domestic battery.