Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the conviction of a Chicago man for running over a mother, subsequently killing her, and causing critical injury to the 6-year-old son, after hitting the pedestrian while running at estimated 80 mph, under the influence, and leaving the scene of the fatal incident.
Ralph Eubanks, 35, is convicted by Cook County Jury on the counts of First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Driving Under the Influence, and Failure to Report an Accident for the case of the death of Maria Worthon, 48, and injury of her son, Jeremiah Worthon, 6, during the crash in 2009.
It was reported that shortly after 9 p.m. on December 21, 2009, two Chicago police officers on routine patrol in the Rogers Park neighborhood stopped the green Pontiac containing Eubanks and a passenger, which was running at excessive speed with no headlights on. As the officers approached the vehicle on foot, the defendant was said to have sped away without stopping at any stop signs. The two officers attempted to follow the vehicle but were unsuccessful and obtained the description and license plate number of the vehicle instead. This information was provided by the officers to dispatch.
At the instant the green Pontiac was running through stop signs at an excessive speed, with no headlights on, the Worthon family was around 7000 block of North Greenview Avenue. On the same evening of Monday, Felix Worthon went to meet his family at the bus stop to walk home together. As they were nearing the intersection between the Greenleaf and Greenview Avenue passing by a church, Maria and Jeremiah stopped by to speak with a man whom they knew. Felix went ahead and crossed to Greenview Avenue, and later on, went back to check on something he had heard. As he was going back, he almost got hit by the defendant’s car, which soon struck Maria and Jeremiah. Felix noted that the defendant did not stop upon impact, but rather, drove away. Felix went to check on his son first, who was found bleeding from the back of his head and spitting up blood. Maria was found a block away, who Felix described as “unrecognizable” due to the absence of Maria’s head.
Maurice Glover, the person from church whom Maria and Jeremiah knew and previously talked to, was also a prime witness to the crime. He reported that he saw Maria and Jeremiah cross the street between two parked cars, and subsequently being hit by a dark vehicle running at approximately 70 to 80 miles per hour in the residential area. He further noted that the vehicle did not have its headlights on, as he hit Maria and Jeremiah, sending Maria off into the air and causing her to land more than 100 feet away from her initial spot. Glover, including two other witnesses, Madeline Moratto and Alex Montejo, also reported that the car did not stop upon impact.
Paramedics informed the police that Maria suffered from massive fatal head injuries and was found dead on the spot, whereas the son was sent to the hospital in critical condition. Jeremiah sustained extreme injuries, including skull fractures, brain swelling, and wounds, and continued to suffer seizures as a result of the accident.
Despite the incident, the defendant continued his attempt to escape but failed as he crashed his car into several parked vehicles in the 6400 blocks of North Newgard Avenue – over half a mile south of the crime scene. He was arrested and taken into custody in that instant. An analysis of the defendant’s blood upon arrest was reported to be positive for four drugs in his system, including cocaine, marijuana, and cannabis.
In a bond hearing on December 24, 2009, the defendant’s family has expressed their regret, and extended their prayers to the Worthons.
Cook County Judge Timothy Joyce convicted Ralph Eubanks for First-Degree Murder, Aggravated DUI, and Failure to Report an Accident. She sentenced the defendant to a total of 40 years imprisonment, serving 30 years for first-degree murder, six years for aggravated DUI, and four years for Failure to Report an Accident. Ralph Eubanks has been held in the Cook County Jail with no bail since the night of the incident in 2009.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez commended the Assistant State’s Attorneys Patrick Keane, Ashely Romito, and Charise Valente for their exemplary work on the case. State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez also thanked the Chicago Police Department for their collaborative work.
Updated: August 6, 2020