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Trial begins for woman accused of running over Chicago Police officer while naked

Woman on trial on accusations of running over Chicago Police officer while naked
Woman on trial on accusations of running over Chicago Police officer while naked 02:03

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Monday was the first day of a bizarre trial involving a woman who investigators said attacked a Chicago Police officer, stole his sport-utility vehicle, and dragged him with it – all while she was naked.

CBS 2 discovered the woman, Whitley Temple, was hired by the City of Chicago while awaiting trial.

It has been nearly two years since the incident, and CBS 2 learned that in that time, Temple briefly worked for the City of Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services as a lead accountant.

The city has declined to comment on her hiring.

On Monday, Temple's attorney told a Cook County judge his client was "in a psychotic state" at the time of the incident, and argued that this is a "textbook insanity case."

Temple hid her face from the cameras leaving court Monday afternoon. Chicago Police Officer Edward Poppish was flanked by fellow CPD members as he walked out of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

The last time they met was on Monday, June 13, 2022, in the middle of a West Garfield Park neighborhood street.

That morning, the 23-year veteran of the Chicago Police force was found lying in the middle of the street near Jackson Boulevard and Kostner Avenue, bleeding from the head. Prosecutors said Temple, who was naked, stole Poppish's sport-utility vehicle - and dragged him with it.

Officer Poppish suffered a concussion and required several stitches to the head. He was noticeably upset watching the various body camera, dash camera, and POD camera angles of the incident in court.

Temple's attorney said she "was in a psychotic state" and had been concerning her family for days. She had a "paranoid idea" that people were after her and trying to kill the women in her family, the attorney said.

She also thought she'd been sexually assaulted, the attorney said.

Temple's attorney said that after stealing the officer's squad car. she drove down the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway at 90 miles per hour – and then she crashed into four cars at Harrison Street and Damen Avenue in the Illinois Medical District on the Near West Side.

Temple pleaded not guilty to attempted murder of a police officer, carjacking, and aggravated battery of a police officer.

Most of the arguments at trial will surround the attempted murder charge - and whether the state can show an intent by Temple to kill the officer with her actions.

The judge was asked to grant a motion to drop the attempted murder charge, but she declined at this time.

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