Ill. Woman Gets 27 Years For Stabbing Uber Driver

Liz Carey

Skokie, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) – A 19-year-old woman has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for stabbing an Uber driver to death when she was 16.

Eliza Wasni pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as part of a plea bargain with Cook County prosecutors. Last week, Cook County Judge Timothy Chambers sentenced the woman to 27 years in prison.

On May 30, 2017, then 16-year-old Wasni entered a Skokie Walmart and stole a machete and knife. Once outside of the store, she hailed a ride from Uber.

At a 3:18 a.m., Wasni ordered a ride from Uber. Grant Nelson, 34, picked her up and within second of entering the car, Wasni began stabbing him with the knife and machete.

Nelson managed to get out of the car and escape on foot to a nearby apartment building where he yelled for residents to call 911.

Wasni had fled the area in Nelson’s car. Eventually, she crashed it into a median and ran from the scene.

Nelson was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was able to describe his attacker before dying of his stab wounds.

When investigators looked at Nelson’s phone, they found Wasni listed as the last customer he picked up on the Uber app. Later, they found his car, crashed, but still running, the interior drenched with blood. A search of the area found Wasni hiding behind a nearby building.

Since the incident, Wasni has provided investigators with no motive for Nelson’s killing, but prosecutors said several times she has expressed homicidal sentiments while incarcerated and has harmed herself on multiple occasions, according to Patch.com in Skokie.

In addition to her jail sentence, Wasni will have to undergo continued mental health assessment and will be placed under mandatory supervision upon her release when she is 44 years old.

Since the incident, Nelson’s family has sued Walmart for failing to report Wasni’s theft of the knife and machete. Because Uber considers its drivers independent contractors, Nelson’s death is not covered by workers’ compensation.

Spokespersons from Uber did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment.

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