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Crime & Courts

Murder trial underway for Lemont man charged in road rage incident

JOLIET — The Lemont man facing a second-degree murder charge following a 2011 "road rage" incident in Romeoville wasn't referred to at all by witnesses during the second day of his trial.

Instead prosecutors focused on the heart and brain of Christopher Yeoman's alleged victim, 63-year-old Frank Egas.

Neva Magbanua, Egas' live-in girlfriend of 14 years, said her "soulmate and partner" wasn't the same after the June 2 incident prosecutors say led to his death three months later.

"He didn't remember what happened to him and his [overall] memory was bad. He wobbled and moved very slow ... he spoke like a kid, not like an adult," Magbanua testified.

Egas had been driving on 135th Street when Yeoman honked from the van behind his Solara. Defense attorney Cliff Johnson said Egas gave the middle finger and sped up when Yeoman tried to pass him. When the vehicles reached Route 53, Yeoman and his wife left their three children in the van to speak with Egas who got out of his own vehicle when they went back to theirs.

Witnesses said Christopher Yeoman punched Egas in the head, knocking him to the ground before the couple drove away.

Magbanua said her boyfriend spent the two months following the attack shuffling between hospitals and rehabilitation centers and undergoing surgery before coming home in mid-August.

"Before I went to work I made him breakfast every morning and made him take his medicine the first week he was home, but the second week he wanted to do it himself," Magbanua recalled.

On Sept. 3, 2011, Magbanua was awoken when Egas had a seizure and called 911 to take him to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. Egas was transferred to Hinsdale later that day to undergo surgery. While he was able to communicate with her before the surgery, Egas never spoke again afterward. He was transferred to a hospice in Barrington where he died Sept. 29.

Magbanua was not cross-examined.

Dr. Manuel Montez, a forensic pathologist and Jason Patt, a Lake County coroner's deputy told the eight men and six women serving as jurors and alternates how Egas' brain was examined during his autopsy and preserved for further study.

Montez said Egas' brain showed signs of multiple traumatic injuries and two brain surgeries. A neuropathologist and Romeoville police officers are expected to testify when the trial continues Thursday.

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