'He was fed up': Father, 84, charged in slaying of son in Schaumburg home

  • William Karras

    William Karras

  • Schaumburg police found the body of Nick Karras, 56, on Monday at his home on Stoughton Court. His father William Karras, 84, who had moved into the home in May, is charged with murder.

      Schaumburg police found the body of Nick Karras, 56, on Monday at his home on Stoughton Court. His father William Karras, 84, who had moved into the home in May, is charged with murder. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 

Sobs from Nick Karras' loved ones punctuated the bond hearing for William Karras, 84, who was ordered held without bail Thursday on charges he shot his 56-year-old son to death after an argument Monday evening at the Schaumburg home they shared.

As William Karras returned to the lockup, a young woman stood up.

"You killed my dad. You killed him," she cried tearfully from the back of the courtroom before bolting into the hall, where she was consoled by family members.

William Karras, who appeared before Cook County Judge Marc Martin wearing paper clothing, faces a possible life sentence if he is convicted of his son's murder.

Prosecutors say Nick Karras was in the kitchen preparing dinner Monday night when he and his father -- who moved in with his son and his son's fiancee in May -- began arguing about finances and the home's upkeep.

"The victim allegedly pushed the defendant, causing the defendant to fall," said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lorna Amado-Chevlin. Nick Karras subsequently told his father he could no longer live in the home.

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Prosecutors say William Karras retrieved a loaded handgun he kept under his pillow and returned to the kitchen, where his son was standing at the sink with his back to his father. Amado-Chevlin said William Karras shot his son in the back of the head and the left cheek from three or four feet away.

Hearing the gunshots, the victim's fiancee ran to the kitchen where she found Nick Karras lying on the ground and William Karras holding a telephone, Amado-Chevlin said.

"He pushed her away and proceeded to call 911," Amado-Chevlin said.

During the call, William Karras admitted shooting his son and told the dispatcher he would place the gun he used, a .380 Ruger, on a table in the garage, she said. He subsequently took the magazine from the gun and unloaded the bullets onto a desk in the garage, she said.

Officers arrived about 9:06 p.m., found the body of Nick Karras, the handgun and spent shell casings, and took William Karras into custody, police said. Police found a second handgun, a Glock 17, in a search of William Karras' car.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The autopsy showed the wound to the victim's cheek resulted from a weapon being fired at close range, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, William Karras told police he and his son had ongoing arguments and he retrieved his gun because "he was angry his son told him he could no longer reside in the home," Amado-Chevlin said.

Prosecutors say that after he was booked, William Karras called one of his daughters and said "things had been brewing for a while" and he shot Nick "because he was fed up," Amado-Chevlin said.

William Karras has no criminal background. But prosecutors revealed that two of his daughters took out separate orders of protection against him in April 2018. Both women claimed their father harassed and threatened them. Both orders were dismissed several weeks after they were filed, prosecutors said.

According to defense attorneys, Karras has a valid FOID card, purchased the weapons legally and had his weapons returned to him after the orders of protection were dismissed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"There are facts in dispute," said Cook County Assistant Public Defender Caroline Glennon, adding that "other facts are going to come to light."

According to Glennon, William Karras' wife was ill and had been placed in a nursing home. The family was also in the process of selling the couple's house, she said.

"There was a lot of family turmoil going on at the time," she said.

Karras next appears in court on July 3.

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