Man accused of proposing with rings from murder victim

Raymond Harris has a violent history according to prosecutors

When Raymond Harris proposed to Lorraine Reed two weeks ago, she was estattic. “I just looked at the rings and said, ‘Yeah!'”

Mugshot of Raymond Harris taken in 2010. Mugshot via Chicago Police Department

The wedding band was engraved, “To Lorraine,” with her birth date. “He said that I was his rock, he said he loved me, and he asked me to marry him.” However Reed was unaware that the rings her fiance had given her were stolen from a 73-year old nurse he allegedly beat to death last month.

36-year old Harris is being held without bail on charges of felony armed robbery and first-degree murder and armed robbery for the murder of Virginia Perillo. He was taken into custody on Tuesday at the temp agency in Elgin, police said.

According to prosecutors, Harris assaulted the Rush University Medical Center nurse in her garage as she was getting out of her vehicle. Perillo passed away the following day after suffering major head wounds. Harris then changed his clothes and attended a party where he showed the rings to a fellow party goer. He asked the witness their opinion as to which of them to use for his proposal and five days later he popped the question to Reed.

Police state that they found Harris’ DNA on a watch found at the murder scene. Authorities then tracked him to Reed’s residence, where she turned over the stolen rings. They have been identified by Perillo’s son and will be used as evidence at trial.

“I felt sick to my stomach looking at them,” John Perillo told the Chicago Tribune. “What was he thinking?”

Harris has a history of violent crimes, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Howlett. In 1997 Harris was convicted of breaking into a woman’s home where he sexualy and physically assaulted the woman “over a period of several hours. “The victim woke up with her legs on fire,” Howlett said and she was hospitalized for a month-and-a-half with third-degree burns.  Harris was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime.

Prior to that incident, Harris had only been out of jail for a couple weeks for another violent incident in 1993, which he served time for.

According to Reed, she and Harris were high school sweethearts and they dated until he went to prison. While Reed said she was aware of the crimes, she claims Harris apparently was dishonest about the details.

“Our relationship was built on nothing but lies.”