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Chicago teenager, 19, is sentenced to 27 years in prison after hacking to death

A Chicago teen who hacked at her Uber driver during a crazed attack in 2017 has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for the murder.

Eliza Wasni, now 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Monday, ABC 7 reports.

She was a 16-year-old student at Taft High School when she took the ride with 34-year-old Grant Nelson in Lincolnwood, Illinois.  

According to police, Wasni had stolen the knife and machete she used to kill Nelson just before he picked her up at 3.30am near the intersection of Touhy and Lincoln avenues on May 20, 2017.    

It was her third ride in an Uber vehicle in the early hours of the Tuesday morning.

Two minutes after he began driving, prosecutors said that Wasni began stabbing Nelson from the back seat. Nelson was able to pull over and ran into a nearby condominium building, where he screamed, ‘Help me, help me! I’m going to die!’ until residents called 911.

Wasni climbed into the front seat of Nelson’s blood-splattered silver sedan and drove away, striking a median in the road. She jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

When Lincolnwood police arrived, they found the vehicle with blood on both the inside and the outside, with Nelson’s phone open to the Uber app. The app said that Nelson’s passenger was someone named Eliza.

Officers followed the trial of blood and found Nelson lying in grass. He was bleeding profusely from several wounds, and was able to tell the officers what had happened. He died at a nearby hospital a few hours later.

Using the description given by Nelson, police found Wasni nearby crouching behind an air conditioner – a machete in one hand and a knife in the other. 

Police warned her that she would be shot with a Taser if she did not drop the weapons, and when she did not comply an officer used the Taser. Wasni dropped the knives and was taken into custody.

‘Only two minutes or so after picking up the defendant, she begins to hack at him and stab him from the back of the seat,’ said Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Cunningham said in May 2017.

The Cook County State’s Attorney charged Wasni as an adult. 

The death of the Uber driver was the first in the small town of Lincolnwood since 2006, local authorities shared.  

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