Crest Hill man charged in wife’s death
By BRIAN STANLEY Bstanley@stmedianetwork.com January 28, 2013 1:26PM
A police car is parked at the scene where a man allegedly ran over his wife Saturday as seen Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, in the 16000 block of Arborvitae Circle in Crest Hill. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 7:49PM
CREST HILL — Police say a man intentionally killed his wife with his car Saturday morning but claimed it was an accident.
Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said an investigation led Will County prosecutors to file first-degree murder charges against Jerry Nichols, 62, in the death of Diane Nichols, 57, at the couple’s house in the 16000 block of Arborvitae Circle.
Nichols called for an ambulance about 11 a.m., saying he had accidentally run into his wife while backing out of the garage, police said.
Diane Nichols was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, where she died in the emergency room at 11:49 a.m., authorities said. An autopsy showed she died from “multiple injuries due to blunt trauma,” Coroner Patrick O’Neil said.
Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor said that as emergency personnel arrived at the house, they saw Nichols stomping on his wife’s head in their garage.
Wilkerson said investigators reconstructed the accident and arrested Nichols Monday morning. He is charged with first-degree murder, reckless homicide and aggravated domestic battery. Wilkerson said police had no previous contact with the couple.
Nichols, a Vietnam veteran, has no criminal history and had been married for 12 years to Diane, his lawyer, Stephen Murphy, told Circuit Court Judge Roger Rickmon on Monday in seeking a $100,000 bail.
“That’s not going to happen,” Rickmon said, and set bail at Connor’s suggested
Nichols retired in November after working 37 years for LaGrange’s water and public works departments, according to a story last month in the The Doings LaGrange newspaper. When asked by a reporter what he planned to do in retirement, Nichols said he loved to cook “and I’ll be seeing more family. My second wife and I have five grandchildren.”
A neighbor in the Arbor Glen subdivision on Monday described the couple as “good people” but did not want to comment further and sobbed when informed of the charges against Nichols.
Contributing: Janet Lundquist, The Doings LaGrange