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Woman Runs Over, Kills Abusive Boyfriend With Minivan, Prosecutors Say

 Naomi Freeman, 23, was charged with first-degree murder following the July 5 incident.
Naomi Freeman, 23, was charged with first-degree murder following the July 5 incident.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An East Garfield Park woman purposefully ran over her boyfriend with a minivan — killing him — after the man badly beat her early Sunday, prosecutors said.

Naomi Freeman, 23, and her boyfriend, 27-year-old John Perry, got into an argument about 5 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of South Francisco Avenue, according to Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Karr, who spoke at a bond hearing Friday.

Perry began beating Freeman, prosecutors said, and a third person at the address pulled the two apart.

Freeman's attorney, Steve Pick, said it wasn't the first time Perry hit his girlfriend. Pick said Perry punched Freeman 25 times that morning after he dragged her out of her minivan by her hair.

Freeman eventually got back into her white 1999 Dodge Caravan, made a U-turn in the street and crashed into a wrought-iron fence as she tried to strike Perry, Karr said.

Perry dared his girlfriend to try to hit him again, so she did — this time successfully, according to prosecutors. The minivan barreled over the sidewalk and struck Perry, pinning him under the vehicle.

Freeman ran away, prosecutors said, leaving the van on top of Perry. Police and paramedics eventually removed Perry and brought him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office listed the cause of death as "mechanical asphyxiation" and ruled the case a homicide.

The entire incident was caught on surveillance camera, Karr said, and Freeman allegedly admitted to her mother that she ran over Perry.

In court Friday, Freeman's attorney asked for a low bond, arguing that Freeman didn't have a choice when she ran over her boyfriend, based on the history of abuse.

"This person didn't go to that address with the intent to hurt anybody," Pick said. "She was in fear for her life and her safety."

Prosecutors countered that Freeman could've easily driven away.

Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Freeman, of the 2800 block of West Polk Street, held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Pick asked if she could set a lower bond for his client. The judge responded: "That's possibly the lowest bond I've ever issued on a first-degree murder charge."

Freeman has no prior convictions.


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