A woman described as a prostitute was denied bail Wednesday, after authorities claimed she murdered a client on finding out he had herpes.
Ashley Nicole Steele, age 21, is accused of shooting 40-year-old Derrick Gray on February 4 of this year. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the narrative that prosecutors have pieced together of the crime: Steele had apparently arranged to meet Gray in his South Side home to have sex. The two retired to his bedroom for a few minutes, but were interrupted by a knock on the door.
Gray answered the door, while Steele and a witness stayed inside. At the door was a screaming woman, furious at Gray for having given her an STD. Steele went to investigate the commotion, but not before grabbing a handgun from a night-table and putting it in her waistband, police say.
When she was told that Gray had herpes, she went back into the house and began pacing, telling the witness that she was going to rob and kill her client. When he entered, she threatened him with the gun; he tried to flee to the bedroom, but she shot him through the door, entered the room, and shot him several more times. Authorities say she fled through the window and disposed of evidence.
The Chicago Tribune writes that Ashley’s defense attorney sought some leniency from the judge, claiming that she was raised under the care of the state, had only a 10th-grade education, and suffered from bipolar disorder. Still, bail was denied in the case.
She is charged with first-degree murder, according to WGN-TV, and is set to appear in court again on April 26.