A man told investigators his “nagging” mother was “driving him crazy’’ so he drew a revolver and shot the 62-year-old recently retired grandmother to death in her Burnside neighborhood home on the South Side earlier this week, prosecutors said in court today.
Earnest L. McGee, 34, of the 1500 block of East 74th Street, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, according to police. He was ordered held without bail in a bond hearing midday today, prosecutors said.
In a videotaped statement, he told investigators his mother was “driving him crazy” and “always nagging him,’’ according to prosecutors. He said: “I just snapped, that’s all,’’ according to prosecutors.
His mother, Aletha McGee, was found shot several times in the basement of her home in the 9000 block of South Dobson Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
Prosecutors said sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, McGee became embroiled in an argument with his mother, drew a revolver and shot her six times at close range as she sat in a recliner.
He fled in her red Ford Focus and with the keys to her home. But Tuesday night he asked police to conduct a well being check because he was concerned she wasn’t answering the phone or the door, prosecutors said.
He told responding officers he made several attempts to enter her home but could not get inside. Police found that rear door was unlocked and a key had been broken off in the lock to that door.
Officers found her seated in a chair in an unlit area of the basement, according to a police report. Inside, nothing was ransacked.
The Focus was found Wednesday in the 7200 block of South East End Avenue – about three blocks from Earnest McGee's residence – and the gun was inside its trunk, prosecutors said.
Witnesses told detectives he had made admissions to them that he murdered his mother and even showed one witness where he parked the Focus, prosecutors said.
Family members said Aletha McGee -- a grandmother of six who retired from AT&T earlier this year -- was an active member of the Burnside Community Baptist Church, as well as the local Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program. She’d lived at her home for about 40 years.
"I'm hurt. I'm very hurt because I just can't believe it," said Weader Ross, McGee's longtime neighbor. Ross told WGN-TV that McGee was a "beautiful person" who regularly brought her freshly picked vegetables