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Al Filan, Brother Rice Teacher, Stabbed 13 Times, Prosecutors Say

By Quinn Ford | January 30, 2014 1:43pm
 Alisha Walker appeared in bond court Thursday for allegedly stabbing to death Brother Rice High School teacher Al Filan.
Alisha Walker appeared in bond court Thursday for allegedly stabbing to death Brother Rice High School teacher Al Filan.
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Brother Rice/Facebook, Orland Park Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A woman charged in the stabbing death of Brother Rice High School teacher Al Filan went to the man's house after he had agreed to exchange money for sex through an "adult entertainment" website, prosecutors said Thursday.

Details surrounding Filan's death emerged in a Cook County courtroom during a hearing for Alisha Walker, 20, who was ordered held without bail.

Prosecutors said Walker went to Filan's Orland Park home on Jan. 18, after he made a connection with her on the website Backpage.com. But when Walker arrived, she and Filan, 61, began arguing over money, said Assistant State's Attorney John Dillon.

Walker later told police Filan grabbed a knife during a struggle and that she wrestled the weapon away and stabbed him, prosecutors said. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office found he had been stabbed 13 times, Dillon said.

Orland Park police found Filan dead in his home Jan. 21, after they were called to check on him when he did not show up for work at the Southwest Side Catholic School.

Officers found Filan, who lived alone, on his kitchen floor, dead.

Police also found "bloody footprints that appeared to be from a high heel shoe" leading from Filan's body to the front door of his home, prosecutors said.

Officers later searched his cellphone and found text messages from an out-of-state number dated from the night Filan was killed. The number matched an adult advertisement on Backpage.com that contained a photo.

Police found that number had been disconnected and replaced with another number that led them to Fort Wayne, Ind. Investigators tracked down the cellphone and found Walker, who matched a photo of a woman listed on the Backpage.com advertisement, Dillon said.

Walker was arrested in Fort Wayne on Jan. 24. Prosecutors said Walker admitted to killing Filan and fleeing his home.

Appearing before Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr., a teary-eyed Walker stared at the floor as Bourgeois granted the prosecution's request to deny her bail.

"Here's the problem I have: Your client has no ties to the area," Bourgeois told her lawyer. "I believe she would be a flight risk."

Prosecutors said there was a pending drug case against Walker in suburban Markham and she also had two convictions for prostitution. She was sentenced to one day in Cook County Jail in August 2012, and four months supervision after a March 2012 conviction.

Filan, 61, taught business and headed the business department at the all-boys high school in Chicago's Mount Greenwood neighborhood. Brother Rice school officials issued a statement on the school's website Tuesday, saying Filan was "an outstanding teacher who served Brother Rice High School with pride and dedication for almost forty years."

"Although there have been allegations in the press concerning Al's personal life, we would hope that everyone will remember him for the good that he did, and ask God to look with mercy and favor upon him," school officials said in a statement.

Brother Rice High School also announced a memorial service would be held for Filan at 9 a.m. Friday. The mass will not be open to the public, but all alumni are invited to attend, according to a statement.

Contributing: Erin Meyer