PAROLEE INDICTED FOR 14-COUNT MURDER OF FIL AM NURSE

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)

CHICAGO (jGLi) – A 36-year-old parolee was indicted Wednesday (Dec. 7) with 14-count murder in the brutal attack last October of Filipino American nurse Virginia Perillo before the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago’s south side.

A Clerk of Court source said that although, there was only one victim in the attack, the 14-count murder considers “different ways and intents” that contributed to the brutal killing.

Raymond Harris, a resident of 7100 Block of South Yale in Chicago, was not granted bail.

He will be up for arraignment on Dec. 28 at 9 a.m. at Room 101 at the Criminal Courts building on 2650 South California Avenue in the south side of Chicago.

Harris, who is on parole for an attempted murder conviction, was arrested after stealing the wedding and engagement rings of the victim, Perillo, 73, and used them to propose to his girlfriend.

If found guilty of murder, Harris could be sentenced to a maximum life in prison without parole. There is no death penalty in Illinois.

Prosecutors said Harris, who was paroled in May, attacked Perillo as she was getting out of her car in her garage in the 3300 block of South Parnell Avenue. He stole her purse and wedding and engagement rings. 

Perillo, a native of Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, sustained serious head wounds and was found lying unconscious by a neighbor, who was trying to close her garage door that was open. 

An intensive critical care nurse of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago’s southside for 40 years, Mrs. Perillo died on Oct. 24, two days after she was rushed to the hospital.

Prosecutors say on the night of the attack, Harris went to a party, wearing “brand new clothes” and showed the rings to a witness, asking which of them he should use to propose to his girlfriend. Harris later used both rings.

 DNA TRACED TO SUSPECT

It was the DNA collected from a blood-stained men’s watch found inside Perillo’s car that matched Harris. A resident of suburban Carpentersville, Harris was arrested Tuesday afternoon in suburban Elgin, police said. 

When police contacted Harris’ fiancé, she turned the rings over to the detectives and Perillo’s family identified them as hers. 

Harris was paroled in May after serving 13 years of a 30-year sentence for his 1997 attempted murder and aggravated arson convictions, according Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Howlett. 

In that case, Harris broke into a woman’s home, raped and beat her for several hours, Howlett said. He also threatened that victim at knifepoint, cut her neck and set three separate fires in the woman’s home, Howlett said. The woman woke up with her legs on fire and suffered third-degree burns. 

Just three weeks before that attack, Harris had been released from prison for a 1993 armed robbery, vehicular invasion and burglary. In that case, Harris brandished a gun at a woman getting outside of her car outside her home, Howlett said. 

Perillo’s son, Michael Perillo, 32, the youngest of Perillo’s three children, all boys, told this reporter in an interview that Chicago police found his mom lying unconscious Saturday (Oct. 22) between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. by a neighbor, who tried to close her garage after seeing it open.

M rs. Perillo’s husband, Mauro Perillo, 75, is a native of Polangui, Albay in the Philippines. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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Filed under Bulan Observer and Fil-Am Friends, Joseph Lariosa, News

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