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Man Held Without Bail For Fatally Shooting Girlfriend, Her Mother And Sister In Gresham In June

John Matthews is accused of killing Shonta Harris, Frances Neal and Jasmine Neal during a domestic dispute outside his home. He was arrested in Iowa this week.

The 8600 block of South Wood Street in Gresham.
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GRESHAM — A 25-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after prosecutors allege he fatally shot his girlfriend, her mother and her sister outside his home in Gresham this summer.

John Matthews was ordered held without bail in Cook County court Friday, charged with killing Shonta Harris, 24; her mother, Frances Neal, 56; and her sister, Jasmine Neal, 27, on June 22.

Police in Burlington, Iowa, arrested Matthews on Thursday and extradited him to Chicago.

The shootings occurred about 12:45 p.m. outside in the 8600 block of South Wood Street, according to prosecutors. Matthews lived at the Wood Street home with his mother and grandmother, while Harris and Frances and Jasmine Neal lived nearby. Harris and Matthews were dating and had a 4-month-old son, according to prosecutors.

Credit: Chicago Police Department
John Matthews, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the June shooting deaths of Shonta Harris, Frances Neal and Jasmine Neal in June.

Harris and the couple’s son were staying at Matthews’ home for Father’s Day, prosecutors said. At some point, Matthews argued with Harris when she refused to cook for him or braid his hair, and Matthews punched Harris in her face, prosecutors said.

Matthews’ grandmother intervened and took Harris outside to try to defuse the situation, prosecutors said, but Matthews followed them and continued to verbally berate Harris.

As the situation escalated, Harris got her phone to call her mother to pick her up. Matthews took the phone and broke it, something Harris would later say he did more than two dozen times to prevent her from calling police during domestic incidents, prosecutors said.

Frances and Jasmine Neal then drove to the Wood Street home. After seeing Harris’ injuries, the two confronted Matthews about hitting Harris, prosecutors said.

Matthews continued to yell at and berate the women, and eventually demanded they leave. He also prevented anyone from going inside the house to get the couple’s infant son, prosecutors said, prompting Jasmine Neal to call 911.

As the arguing continued outside, prosecutors said Matthews pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot Frances Neal seven times and shot Harris once in her upper chest. Matthews chased Jasmine Neal and shot her once in her head, prosecutors said.

All this was witnessed by Matthews’ grandmother, who called 911 and identified him as the shooter. Matthews ran away. At least two other witnesses saw the shooting, one of whom also identified Matthews as the attacker, according to prosecutors.

Frances and Jasmine Neal were pronounced dead at the scene. Harris was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. While being treated, she identified Matthews as the shooter and gave a recorded statement.

Harris suffered fractures to her spine and paralysis from the waist down from being shot, prosecutors said, and was taken to a rehab facility. On Sept. 5, she was found unresponsive and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Harris’ death a homicide. Bullet fragments were lodged in her chest, and she had spine and rib fractures from being shot.

Police issued an extradition warrant for Matthews after being unable to find him in the area. Matthews was arrested in Iowa on Aug. 3 after getting into a car crash. He initially gave authorities a false name before admitting his identity and being sent back to Chicago, prosecutors said.

Matthews is due in court Nov. 30.

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