Just a month after she spoke out about violence against black women, a Chicago mother was found dead after her boyfriend strangled her, police allege.
Sierra Jamison, who had just celebrated her 30th birthday, was found dead in a garage near her home on Monday. Charging documents obtained by HuffPost allege that 63-year-old Lawrence Boyle killed her as she was moving her car.
According to the charging document, Jamison and Boyle were friends for about 10 years until their relationship became romantic a few weeks before her death. Boyle was charged with murder and made his first court appearance on Friday.
Prosecutors said Jamison returned home the evening of Sept. 18 and told her mother she was going to park her Jeep in a garage in an alley near her home.
According to charging documents, Jamison was met there by her boyfriend, who allegedly strangled her, took her phone and covered her body with a tarp.
According to the document, Jamison’s mother became increasingly concerned when her daughter didn’t come home or respond to calls or messages, and Jamison’s brother went to check on her.
As her brother entered the alley, he saw Boyle closing the garage door and noticed Boyle had his sister’s phone with him. According to the document, Boyle said she threw it at him and went to the store.
Jamison’s mother then went into the garage herself, where she found her daughter dead under the tarp.
According to the charging document, shortly after leaving the garage, Boyle called his ex-wife and admitted to strangling Jamison.
Boyle finally turned himself in to police on Wednesday and confessed to the murder, prosecutors said.
According to the document, Boyle told officers that he thought Jamison had a gun when he began strangling her, but he continued even after he realized she was not armed.
Jamison had been there just a month before her death interviewed by CBS Chicago for a report on the high rates of violence faced by black women. She talked about her experience as a victim of an attempted car theft.
Jamison told the outlet that she was grateful she was saved when other women in the area took a stand against the suspect.
“They literally stepped in and helped me. There was a lot of empowerment for Black people and women that day,” Jamison said.
Jamison spoke passionately about protecting the Jeep Wrangler she bought for herself, which she felt was a symbol of the hard work and sacrifices she had made for herself and her son.
“My son had open heart surgery, he has a disability, so he means a lot to me,” she said. “And I’m not [going to] Let this young man, with a knife at that, take everything I’m working hard on [for] Get away from me.”
CBS Chicago reporter Dorothy Tucker described Jamison’s courage and strength as she offered her condolences to her family.
Jamison’s aunt, Sadina Jamison, told CBS Chicago that Boyle was “someone she felt comfortable around. This is someone she trusted, so she had no reason to be afraid.”
Jamison’s mother described her daughter as ABCChicago as an “ambitious” person who worked as a phlebotomist and planned to attend nursing school. She rented her house from a former work colleague and wanted to move with her 6-year-old son.
After Boyle’s arrest, Jamison’s aunt told CBS Chicago that the family was relieved that Boyle had been arrested.
“We honor her legacy. We honor their lives. But today we have a victory because this person was caught,” she said Wednesday. “He is currently in custody, so yes, we can celebrate with a little peace.”
Do you need help? In the US, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). National Domestic Violence Hotline.