A witness told police Raquel McCormick began telling Thomas Brankin to "get up" off the ground "and that he wasn't really hurt"

By Chris Harris
September 04, 2020 03:18 PM
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Thomas Brankin with Raquel McCormick
| Credit: Facebook

Authorities in Illinois have arrested a 48-year-old woman on an attempted murder charge weeks after she allegedly drove over her boyfriend, who later died.

PEOPLE confirms through online records that Raquel McCormick was arrested Wednesday by police in Highland.

The arrest was made one day after McCormick's boyfriend, Thomas Brankin, died from injuries he sustained on Aug. 11, when police allege she hit him with her car during a heated argument before leaving the scene.

Citing court records, the Chicago Tribune and the Times of Northwest Indiana both report that on the evening of Aug. 11, the couple was arguing when McCormick allegedly drove over Brankin.

McCormick allegedly left the scene, but then returned, she told police, the court records indicate. Once back at the scene, she called 911.

According to the court records, police asked McCormick if Brankin, 53, said anything to her when she returned, and she allegedly replied, "He was just moaning ... and I'm like: 'Seriously, this is the way you wanna end this?'"

Responding officers found an unresponsive Brankin on the ground behind McCormick's business, Raquel's Wine House.

On Tuesday at Franciscan Health Dyer Hospital, Brankin succumbed to his wounds, which included injuries to both eye sockets, facial fractures, swelling and bleeding of the brain as well as swelling to the brainstem.

In addition to attempted murder, McCormick was formally charged Thursday with aggravated battery and domestic battery by means of a deadly weapon. Murder charges are possible, according to both papers, depending on the outcome of an autopsy on Brankin's body.

The court records allege McCormick told police she and Brankin had been dating for more than three years, and that after a day of drinking and shopping, they returned to her business to check on it.

An argument ensued, and McCormick tried to leave, at which point Brankin stepped in front of her car, police allege she told them. She also allegedly told police Brankin was "challenging" her by asking if she was going to hit him, according to the court records.

An eyewitness told police he saw McCormick's SUV turn sharply towards Brankin, and that he hit the hood of the vehicle with his hands. McCormick allegedly backed up, stopped briefly and accelerated forward at a high rate of speed before the witness heard a "crash/thud noise," the records state.

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The witness told police the woman fled, but returned a short time later and began telling the man to "get up and that he wasn't really hurt," according to the records.

The Tribune reports Brankin coached several sports at local high schools and spent the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant golf coach at Valparaiso University, where he earned his degree and was named academic all-conference.

McCormick is being held without bail, and has yet to enter pleas to the charges she faces. It was unclear if she has an attorney.