Erica Demarest, WGN TV News

Erica Demarest


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Past articles by Erica:

Lyft driver sexually assaulted passenger in 2 Chicago suburbs, police say

CHICAGO — A Lyft driver is accused of sexually assaulting a passenger at two separate suburban stops on the same trip last week. Alexander Sowa, 34, is charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual assault. Police allege Sowa picked up a woman who requested a ride using the Lyft ride-sharing app about 6:45 a.m. Thursday. She wanted to go from suburban Elk Grove to Des Plaines. → Read More

Search continues for 2 mission Waukegan plant employees

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — The search will continue Sunday for two missing Waukegan plant employees who are believed to be dead after a fatal explosion Saturday. Officials said the continue at 8 a.m. Sunday. The coroner has not released any information about the two missing employees. → Read More

Off-duty Cook County sheriff’s deputy killed in Chicago Ridge crash

CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. — An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s deputy was killed Saturday in a high-speed crash in suburban Chicago Ridge. It happened just after midnight in the 10100 block of Virginia Avenue. → Read More

R. Kelly spends night in Cook County Jail after failing to post bond

CHICAGO — R. Kelly spent Saturday night in Cook County Jail after failing to post 10 percent of his $1 million bond. Bond payments can be made starting at 9 a.m. Sunday. Defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he expected Kelly to post bond, though the singer "really doesn't have any money. → Read More

R. Kelly to appear in bond court Saturday on sex abuse charges

CHICAGO — R&B singer R. Kelly is slated to appear in bond court Saturday on allegations he sexually abused four people, including three minors, from 1998 to 2010. Kelly, 52, is charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Each carries a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison; probation is also an option. → Read More

Vigil to be held Sunday for Aurora shooting victims

AURORA, Ill. — A vigil will be held Sunday afternoon in suburban Aurora in remembrance of the five people gunned down Friday by a co-worker who was being fired. The vigil will be held at the Henry Pratt Company at 2:30 p.m. → Read More

Jason Van Dyke’s wife says former Chicago officer was targeted in prison attack

CHICAGO — Jason Van Dyke’s wife on Thursday said she believes her husband was targeted in a prison attack last week “for being who he is.” Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who was convicted last year of murdering Laquan McDonald, was recently transferred to a federal prison in Connecticut. → Read More

Jason Van Dyke beaten after being transferred out of Illinois prison

CHICAGO — Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, has been moved out of an Illinois prison and taken to Connecticut. → Read More

3 charged with murdering Naperville man found in trash can

WHEATON, Ill. — A Rockford man, his mother and his girlfriend were denied bail Saturday in the murder of a Naperville man found dead in a trash can. Michael Armendariz, 20, was reported missing January 18th, 2018. → Read More

DUI charges filed in fatal hit-and-run outside Oak Lawn school

CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. — An Oak Lawn man has been charged with DUI in the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 15-year-old girl outside her school Monday. Freshman Amira Nairat, 15, was walking to Richards High School about 7:45 a.m. Monday when she was fatally struck by a Volkswagen Beetle a block away from the Oak Lawn campus. → Read More

Jason Van Dyke to be sentenced Friday

CHICAGO — Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke is expected to be sentenced Friday in the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke, 40, was convicted in October 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. → Read More

Woman charged with DUI in Lower Wacker crash that killed 1-year-old girl

CHICAGO — A South Side woman has been charged with DUI in the downtown crash that killed a child Friday. Police said Adreannia Donaldson, 29, was driving westbound on Lower Wacker Drive about 1 a.m. Friday when she made an illegal U-turn into oncoming traffic near Garvey Court. → Read More

Armed carjacker hit construction worker, ran over officer in Oak Forest: police

OAK FOREST, Ill. — Police are looking for a man who carjacked two vehicles at gunpoint, hit a construction worker and ran over a suburban police officer. It all started about noon Thursday with an armed carjacking in Orland Park, according to the Oak Forest and Orland Park police departments. → Read More

Car stolen with 2 babies in back seat; boys found in alley strapped to car seats

RICHTON PARK, Ill. — A car with two infants in the back seat was stolen in Richton Park on Friday, police said. The boys were found safe in an alley in Riverdale two hours later; they were strapped into their car seats. Police said there was no indication they'd been hurt. → Read More

Drunken driver killed pregnant mother of 4, prosecutors say

STREAMWOOD, Ill. — A Schaumburg man has been charged with DUI in a Streamwood crash that killed a pregnant mother of four on Monday. Hinigo Olvera, 67, of the 100 block of Barrett Lane in Schaumburg, is charged with aggravated DUI causing death. → Read More

Van Dyke moved to jail in Quad Cities to await sentencing

CHICAGO — The Chicago police officer convicted of murdering Laquan McDonald has been moved to a jail three hours west of Chicago to await sentencing. → Read More

Jury finds Jason Van Dyke guilty of 2nd-degree murder

CHICAGO — A jury has found Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murdering Laquan McDonald, guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. He was found not guilty of official misconduct. The verdict was read around 1:50 p.m. Friday. The next court date is Oct. 31. → Read More

Jury sequestered in Van Dyke trial; deliberations to continue Friday

CHICAGO — Jury deliberations will continue Friday in the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murdering Laquan McDonald. Twelve jurors and three alternates will be sequestered until a verdict is reached. → Read More

Closing arguments set for Thursday in Jason Van Dyke trial

CHICAGO — Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday morning in the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murdering Laquan McDonald. Defense attorneys rested their case Wednesday. → Read More

Jason Van Dyke testifies: McDonald was ‘advancing at me’

CHICAGO — The Chicago police officer charged with murdering 17-year-old Laquan McDonald took the stand Tuesday to testify in his own defense. Jason Van Dyke said he repeatedly shouted "Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" before opening fire on McDonald on Oct. → Read More