Chicago Heights Man Charged With Murder of Hometown Woman

A Cook County judge set bail at $2 million for man accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend in the face in March.

Bail was set at $2 million for a Chicago Heights man accused of killing the mother of his two children.

George Kleopa, 32, appeared before Cook County Judge Darron E. Bowden in Markham on Wednesday morning, where he was charged with first-degree murder of Michele V. Peters, 30, formerly of Hometown.

Peters was found fatally shot with a gunshot wound to the face in the Chicago Heights home she shared with Kleopa on March 6. Kleopa called 911 to report that Peters had shot herself, according to the criminal complaint.

Kleopa appeared calm as he was led into court after being taken into police custody Tuesday, wearing a pink shirt, slacks and glasses.

As Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Richard Stake related the facts of the case in court, members of Peters' family wept.

Stake said that Kleopa and Peters had been a couple for 14 years and had two young sons together. Witnesses reported that on the night of her death they heard the couple arguing about Kleopa seeing another woman.

Chicago Heights police said that Kleopa changed his story several times of how Peters came be to fatally shot in the face when he was first taken into police custody in March, Stake told the judge.

Kleopa allegedly told police that Peters had shot herself, then said that Peters was bringing him the gun for him to clean and "it went off."

In another account, Stake said, Peters was bringing him the gun to "play with it" and it went off.

Investigators at the crime scene determined that it would take "six pounds of pressure to fire the gun with the safety off," according to the criminal complaint.

Kleopa was released without being charged in March, but was arrested on Tuesday.

His attorney, Marc Wolfe, asked that bail be set at $100,000, arguing that Kleopa had no criminal background or violent history.

Judge Bowden set bail at $2 million and ordered Kleopa to surrender his passport. As Kleopa was led back into custody, he looked at Peters' family sitting in the courtroom.

Kleopa's mother, sister and brother-in-law were also in the courtroom on Wednesday, but declined to comment, as did his attorney.

Catherine Peters, Michele's mother, said that the "high bail is one step closer to getting him out of everyone's life."

Kleopa faces 20 years up to life in prison if convicted.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 15.




Borninol July 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Something very very similar happened right down the street years ago. This guy shot his wife in the face to leave their two daughters parent less. The kids live with the wifes parents now and will never see their father again!! I hope both these animals burn forever!!!!!!!!!
Sarah July 26, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I hope he suffers as long as possible in jail. he took this amazing mother away from two amazing boys. He obviously didn't think of them while he was doing what he was doing... I hope his jail mate is some guy named bubba and i hope he never sees the light of day again. Micheles family will see those boys again. I have faith in that.
Lorraine Swanson July 26, 2012 at 04:53 AM
I know everyone's emotions are running high, however, this is an accustion. Everyone in this great country is innocent until proven guilty, so please keep that in mind when commenting.
Lorraine Swanson July 26, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Courtney, I appreciate your feelings, but your comment is in violation of Patch's terms of use. Please review them, http://oaklawn.patch.terms and repost your comment.
Avid Reader July 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »