Ex-Con Gets Life for XMas-Eve Slay

"He walked as casually as you can imagine," the prosecutor said

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    Lee Cration, 49, is headed back to prison, this time for killing Ralph Elliott on Christmas eve. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011)

    Lee Cration, 49, is headed back to prison.

    This time he'll stay there for life, the maximum sentence for murder.

    Cration was convicted earlier this year of killing Ralph Elliott, a 79-year-old Bronzeville resident who ran out during Christmas Eve 2009 to pick up some Popeye's chicken for his family.

    Elliott died in the parking lot of the fast food restaurant at 818 E. 47th Street, clutching a bucket of chicken, after Cration shot him two times then searched his body for cash and valuables.

    "He walked as casually as you can imagine," the prosecutor said after the sentence was read.

    The killer was arrested minutes later. He never found the $200 Elliott had on him.

    Cration, who served a majority of a 28-year sentence for a 1984, was out on parole for about one year when the incident occured.

    Prosecutors said he staked out the restaurant, looking for a victim to rob. Elliott was an easy target.

    Police were actively looking for Cration at the time of the murder because he had violated his parole. 

    Elliott's wife vowed to keep Ralph's legacy of kindness and giving alive.

    "We are people who believe that this is a better society," said his wife, Dolores Elliott. "He was that kind of person, so the community has lost a person who was always giving."