A woman who was the beneficiary of a $10,000 life insurance policy is charged with murder after the man who took out the policy was fatally shot late last year on the Southwest Side.
Layla Enriquez, 27, appeared Friday before Judge James Brown who set bail at $2 million bail during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, according to Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
The Garfield Ridge neighborhood attack claimed Enriquez’s former roommate and family friend, 52-year-old Michael Newell.
Enriquez was the beneficiary of a $10,000 life insurance policy taken out by Newell, who was a family friend of Enriquez’s parents and Enriquez had lived with him for a few months, said Cook County Asst. State’s Atty. Ed Murillo.
The evening of Dec. 16 about 8:30 p.m., Newell was working as a driver for a fast food restaurant. When he went to deliver food at a home in the 5100 block of South Long Avenue, the residents at that home told him they didn’t order any so he drove away, said Cook County Asst. State’s Atty. Ed Murillo.
About the same time, Enriquez was behind the wheel of a 2001 Nissan Maxima with a male co-defendant when she parked near the 5200 block of South Lorel Avenue and the man got out and walked toward Newell’s car which was nearby, Murillo said.
As Newell got into his car the man opened the driver's side door and struggled with him and then shot him in the head, Murillo said.
Newell managed to begin driving away and but then crashed into multiple cars as the shooter got back into Enriquez’s car and they drove away, Murillo said.
Police got the scene and found Newell suffered a gunshot wound which entered the left side of his head and exited on the right side. He died of a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Officers found surveillance videos from nearby homes that showed the shooting and the co-defendant entering the front passenger seat of Enriquez’s Maxima before it fled the scene.
Investigators also went through Enriquez’s cell phone records which showed that just prior to the shooting, she was in the area and had called the co-defendant's cell phone around that time also.
Enriquez, of the 1600 block of South Morgan Street, will appear in court again on March 14.