BELLEVILLE, IL – We just reported on a case where a 10-year-old girl was charged with killing an infant in Maine, now police in Illinois have charged a 9-year-old boy with first degree murder after they say he beat a 14-month-old to death.
I’ve read many articles about this, but after one from LakeExpo.com, I think I have a clearer picture of what allegedly happened. From what I can gather, Alisha Johnson is the mother of 14-month-old Taquan “King” Willis and his two brothers, ages 2 and 3. A few months ago, Johnson moved into the home of Melissa Wilbourn, who lived with her boyfriend and two boys ages 12 and 9-year-old.
On Aug 26, Johnson was out when she received a call from Wilbourn telling her Taquan was injured and she needed to go to the hospital. When she arrived, she would find her son beaten and unconscious. Taquan would never regain consciousness and was pronounced dead on Sunday.
On Tuesday, police would charge the 9-year-old boy with first degree murder after they say he beat Taquan to death. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly says he is unable to give details in the case because of the accused’s age. He did say the child could not, by law, be tried as an adult, and the case is pending in juvenile court.
Johnson’s aunt told reporters that Wilbourn told relatives that the kids were all in a back room sleeping on a floor when she heard groaning. When she went to check on the kids but didn’t notice anything wrong so she went back to sleep. When she heard more groaning, she went back to the room and called out to Taquan. When she picked him up, he was limp. Jackson said Wilbourn told her boyfriend something was wrong with Taquan and called 911.
At this point, no one is talking about how, specifically, Taquan died or what lead police to charging the 9-year-old with his murder.Tags: Beating, Crime, Illinois, Juvenile, Murder, Taquan Willis