Steger man sentenced to life in killings of wife, father, girlfriend

2012-08-30T17:30:00Z 2012-08-30T23:39:19Z Steger man sentenced to life in killings of wife, father, girlfriendTimes Staff and Wire Report nwitimes.com
August 30, 2012 5:30 pm  • 

CHICAGO | A Steger man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty of murder in 2009 spurred by jealousy that left his estranged wife and former girlfriend dead and eventually killed his father.

Prosecutors said James Amison was convinced his father was having an affair with his wife.

Amison wept Wednesday as he apologized to the victims' relatives; he told his children he's the "perfect example of what not to be."

After Amison finished, Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn sentenced him to five life sentences for murder, home invasion and armed robbery charges.

Amison shot and killed his girlfriend, Stephanie Reed, 40, on Dec. 12, 2009. Her body was found in her Chicago home in the 5300 block of South Marshfield Avenue.

Before fatally shooting Reed, Amison confronted his father, James Johnson, in his Maywood home at 1618 S. 19th Ave. He shot and paralyzed him. Johnson died about a year later.

After Reed was found fatally shot, authorities contacted Steger police to ask them to check on Amison's girlfriend, Tashika Smith. When they arrived at her home in the 300 block of West 35th Street, officers found the door unlocked and the 38-year-old woman lying face-down on her couch, strangled to death.

Amison was taken into custody early the next day at The Factory, a strip club in the 12000 block of South Doty Road in southeast Chicago. While there, Amison allegedly threatened employees and patrons with a firearm, took money from one of the employees and fired a shot at one of the patrons before someone shot Amison in the leg.

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