2 charged with murder of pregnant Alsip teen

April 29, 2011 (CALUMET CITY)

Rosemary Newman's body was found in a forest preserve in Calumet City on Sunday. Prosecutors say she was killed by an ex-boyfriend who did not want to be a father.

On Friday afternoon, friends and family gathered to celebrate the young life of Newman.

"She was a happy person. She was a beautiful girl. She was a teenager," said the victim's aunt Tanya Newman.

The teen's wake and funeral came just hours after Deandre Minkens, 20, of Calumet City, and Shante Thomas, 19, of Chicago, appeared in court charged with her slaying. Both police and prosecutors say the couple allegedly conspired for weeks to kill the woman carrying his child so he would not have to be a father.

"She was not with him. So just for him to pop up out of the blue and want to be around her was strange to me," said the victim's best friend Sharron Shaw.

In court Friday morning, a judge ordered Minkens to be held without bail and Thomas held on $3 million dollars bond after the couple was charged with first degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child.

Investigators say Minkens reportedly drove to meet Newman for dinner Saturday night with Thomas hidden in the trunk of his car. After dinner, as they allegedly planned, when Minkens turned up the volume on song he was playing titled "I Hate You," Thomas attacked.

"She came out of the trunk and began strangling the victim. The victim valiantly fought and tried to survive," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Authorities say Minkens and Thomas then allegedly took Newman to a forest preserve, and strangled and beat her until she died. Newman was 8-and-a-half months pregnant and due in early May. Minkens and Thomas reportedly went to a nightclub.

Newman's mother reported her missing Sunday morning just a few hours after a man walking his dog discovered the teen's body.

Minkens was arrested at his home and was also charged with obstructing a peace officer. He's currently on probation on a theft conviction and prosecutors say he also had a probation violation for a charge of cruelty to children in Georgia.

Thomas is a high school senior who now lives on Chicago's Northwest Side with her mother. Authorities say Thomas was the one who eventually told detectives what happened.

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