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Chicago woman charged with killing panhandler during turf war

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A woman killed a fellow panhandler while they fought over turf along a Chicago expressway last Friday.

Mary Normand, 26, and Eriberto Hernandez, 47, had “ongoing issues” about panhandling on the southbound Edens Expressway exit ramp at Wilson Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak said during a bail hearing on Monday afternoon.

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Mary Normand booking photo.
(Illinois State Police)

At 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Normand accused Hernandez of panhandling in her territory. The disagreement quickly turned physical. 

Normand repeatedly struck Hernandez with a 3-foot-long metal stake and then pushed him under a moving box truck, Hanichak said.

After Hernandez was run over by the truck, Normand continued to repeatedly beat him with the stake while he cried for help and attempted to defend himself with his hands.

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Mary Normand disappeared from the scene but police arrested her almost five hours later when she returned to the scene.

Mary Normand disappeared from the scene but police arrested her almost five hours later when she returned to the scene.
(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Hernandez was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, he did not survive the assault. The Cook County medical examiner ruled the death as a homicide.

Despite panhandling in the same area as Hernandez, Normand is not homeless, Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Hodel said. Normand lives with her fiancé and has been working at real estate company for the last three years, Hodel said. 

Normand ran away from the scene but returned almost five hours later and was arrested, according to Fox 5.

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Normand was ordered held without bail on a count of first-degree murder by Judge Maryam Ahmad.

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