Lemont man guilty of second-degree murder in road rage case
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a jury found a Lemont man guilty late Monday evening of second degree murder for punching a motorist in the head in Romeoville in June 2011.
The victim, Frank Egas, 63, died several months later from the severe brain injuries he suffered after being punched violently by Christopher Yeoman on June 2, 2011 during a clear case of road rage near 135th Street and Illinois 53.
Yeoman, 41, also was found guilty of aggravated battery to a senior citizen and aggravated battery. He faces between 3 and 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 4. He was taken into custody by Will County Sheriff’s Police Monday night.
Assistant State’s Attorney’s Christopher Koch and Peter Wilkes presented evidence and testimony to prove that Yeoman exited his minivan on that sunny afternoon, rushed toward the victim and then punched him once as he stood near his vehicle while he was stopped on 135th Street near Illinois 53. Mr. Egas fell to the ground, and the defendant fled the scene in his minivan while his wife was driving.
The defendant claimed in testimony that he honked his horn at Mr. Egas while he was stopped ahead of him on 135th Street. Yeoman also claimed Mr. Egas then swerved to prevent him from passing and that he punched Mr. Egas in self-defense after the two men had exited their vehicles.
Prosecutors Koch and Wilkes, however, presented testimony from witnesses who stated that Mr. Egas was standing by his vehicle and made no aggressive gesture when Yeoman rushed toward him and punched him. Yeoman also admitted under cross-examination by Koch that he was angered by Mr. Egas’ driving and that the he did not turn his minivan off onto various sidestreets or into parking lots to avoid Mr. Egas.
“Christopher Yeoman sucker punched Mr. Egas out of sheer anger and now a senior citizen is dead, the victim of irrational violence” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “My prosecutors left no doubt in the minds of jurors that this was a murder resulting from a senseless incident of road rage and not a case of self-defense.”
The State’s Attorney also credited the Romeoville Police Department for its investigation into this case.