20 years for ‘horror movie’ attack: striking Chicago couple with shovel, gouging eyes, biting off chunks of ears

CHICAGO — “I thought I was really listening to a horror movie,” Judge John Lyke remarked after hearing prosecutors describe a vicious, apparently random attack on a South Side couple in May 2021. Even in a courtroom where Chicago’s shootings, stabbings, and violent crimes of all kinds are detailed on a daily basis, Elijah Rule Hill Prince’s crime “shocks the conscience,” Lyke added.

Late last week, Rule Hill Prince pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder. Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil handed him 10 years on each count, consecutive, with 85% of the sentences to be served, according to court records.

During the original hearing with Lyke, prosecutor Lindsey Patton said the encounter began when Rule Hill Prince approached a 58-year-old man in an alley in the 10500 block of South Emerald and offered to sell him gold watches.

The man cleaning the alley behind his mother-in-law’s house rejected the officer “multiple times,” said Patton.

Without warning, Rule Hill Prince put the man in a chokehold and took him to the ground. A shovel the man was using to clean the alley became a weapon in Rule Hill Prince’s hands. He hit the fallen man in the head with it.

Rule Hill Prince wasn’t done, Patton said. He punched the victim in the face repeatedly, stuck his fingers in both of the man’s eyes, and bit off parts of the man’s scalp and ears. Horrifyingly, Rule Hill Prince wielded a 3-inch block of wood, similar to a door stop, and jammed it into the man’s eye, Patton said.

Hearing her husband’s screams, the man’s wife stepped outside to see what was going on. Rule Hill Prince turned his attention to her.

He pulled her hair, hit her with the shovel, and bit “large chunks” from both of her ears, said Patton. She fell to the ground, and he continued the attack, kicking and punching her in the head and face.

Elijah Rule Hill Prince (Cook County sheriff’s office)

As the woman was being assaulted, her husband removed the wooden block from his eye and called 911, Patton said. Police arrived as Rule Hill Prince left the scene.

Blood covered his mouth, face, and jacket when cops detained him nearby, Patton said. Asked whose blood it was, Rule Hill Prince allegedly replied it was not his but rather the “blood of the peasants.”

Investigators recovered pieces of the victims’ ears from the alley, but they could not be reattached. The male victim suffered fractured orbital bones and was left visually impaired, Patton stated.

Until the attack, Rule Hill Prince’s only other adult criminal case was a trespassing matter downstate.

Rule Hill Prince has not been transferred to Illinois Department of Corrections custody. He will serve at least 17 years of the 20-year sentence Kurakos-Ciesel handed him. According to the judge’s sentencing notes, that will be reduced by 1,027 days of credit he earned in the Cook County jail.

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About Tim Hecke 252 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com