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Suspect In Lake County Woman's Murder Was Free Despite Rape Arrest

By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 15, 2015 7:20PM

Dena Seymour, left, in a family photo and Leo Amin in a photo from Lake County Sheriff's Office (via Chicago Tribune)

The family and friends of Dena Seymour say they are angry and frustrated at the justice system for missing chances to prevent her murder. Seymour was shot to death at her house near Grayslake on Sept. 29, allegedly at the hands of Leo Amin, a man she had been dating who had recently been arrested on rape charges. Amin committed suicide by shooting himself at a River North rooftop bar, just hours after Seymour had been killed.

Friends and family told the Tribune that Seymour was completely unaware of Amin's lengthy criminal history while they were casually dating. His charming demeanor—even in court—deceived many people. The pair met at the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parade in June, her friends said.

"I don't think Dena thought she could be or would be a victim of domestic violence," her sister-in-law Leslie Donavan told the Tribune. "I think she was a victim of the system that allowed him to be free. She was completely unaware."

Amin, 30, had been arrested on May 9 near Pittsburgh and accused of raping a woman at a hotel. Despite the felony charges, he was released from jail and allowed to return to the Chicago area. It's unclear if Pennsylvania authorities knew that the Crystal Lake resident was already on probation in Cook County for aggravated assault and resisting arrest. If they did, they didn't alert Cook County. Candace Thomas, a spokeswoman for Cook County's Adult Probation Department, told the Tribune they were not aware of the felony rape charges in Pennsylvania.

During a 2014 incident in Rosemont, he allegedly threatened to show up at the police station with "armor-piercing bullets" and referenced al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Tribune reported. There were numerous other arrests starting during his teenage years and at least three women in the area had sought orders of protection against him.

"He was very distrusting, possessive," an ex-girlfriend who filed an order of protection against him in Lake County in July told the Tribune. "I wouldn't respond to his texts, and he would show up at my house. It was just this pattern. Finally, I had had enough."