Grandmother Arrested: Why Did Janet Strickland Want Her Grandson To Kill Her Husband?

By Staff Reporter on April 8, 2013 12:32 PM EDT

Janet and William Strickland
Janet and William Strickland were both charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Janet's husband and William's grandfather. (Photo: Chicago Police)

A 64-year old Chicago area woman was arrested on Thursday and charged with having her 19-year old grandson kill her husband, who was on his way to dialysis treatment.

Janet Strickland was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery with a firearm in the March 2 shooting death of 72-year old William Strickland. Prosecutors alleged that Strickland talked about killing her husband on multiple occasions with her grandson, also named William Strickland, who was arrested on March 30 and charged with first-degree murder.

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Bail was set at $500,000 for Grandma Strickland on Sunday.

Before the shooting, Strickland mentioned to her grandson that she was "sick" of his (William's) grandfather and that she wanted him dead according to The Daily Mail.

"She stated ... that she wished he was not here and she wanted him gone," assistant Illinois attorney Jacqueline Kwilos said during Strickland's bond hearing.

Grandmother and grandson originally discussed having someone else kill Strickland but the younger Strickland told his grandmother that he would do the job of killing his own grandfather. Grandma Strickland even allowed her grandson to take his grandfather's gun to commit the crime.

"When the defendant unlocked the door and let the victim leave for his dialysis appointment, she admitted that she knew the victim would be killed by the grandson," said Kwilos.

Strickland watched her grandson shoot his grandfather six times in the back at 3:30 a.m. when he left the house to go to his dialysis appointment. As the grandfather lay dying, grandmother and grandson stole his bag filled with money, emptied out his bank account and went on a shopping spree. Strickland was the beneficiary of her husband's bank accounts and so she believed she was in the clear for her alleged role in the slaying.

For his role in the crime, prosecutors say that William Strickland received a car, home furniture and cash, with which he brought gym shoes, tattoos and other items.

Grandma Strickland missed her scheduled court appearance on Saturday due to her being in the hospital. She was being treated for lung disease, high blood pressure and low oxygen.

According to neighbors of the Stricklands, they seemed like a nice couple.

"He always praised her, the things she did," said Theolene Shears, 84, who lives right next door to the Stricklands. "She was a good housekeeper. She kept him well fed."

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