A South Side man is scheduled to appear in court later today to face charges that he fatally beat his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter over the weekend.
Devell M. Johnson, 23, of the 5500 block of South Emerald Avenue, faces a first-degree murder in connection to the Saturday afternoon death of Armaney Cotton, according to Tandra Simonton, spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Armaney was found unresponsive at Johnson's home in the Englewood neighborhood, her body covered with bruises and what appeared to be human bite marks, officials said. The girl's mother, Brittany Cotton, said it appeared "somebody tortured my child."
“This is somebody who is supposed to care for her,” she said through heavy sobs on Sunday.
Cotton, a housekeeper at a downtown hotel, said she dropped Armaney off at Johnson's home at about 7 a.m. Saturday he could watch the child while Cotton went to work.
An ambulance was dispatched to the home at 4:28 p.m. and the little girl was declared dead at 4:42 p.m. at St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Centers, according to the medical examiner’s office.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had no previous contact with the family, according to agency spokesman Kendall Marlowe.
The child’s uncle, Jacques Allbritton, 24, said the death is a tragedy he can't begin to describe.
“Everything that’s happened within the last couple of days, really I’m speechless, we’ve never endured any pain like this ever,’’ Allbritton said.
He said he didn't know Johnson but was pleased that charges have been brought.
“I’m pleased because I need some kind of justice for my niece,’’ he said. “I’m pleased that something has happened.’’
Allbritton said the girl's mother was at the funeral home Monday afternoon making arrangements.
Relatives remembered Armaney as a “bright little girl” who loved the color pink and cartoons. “She was the joy of the household,” said cousin Demetria Cobbs, 21.
Cousin Thelma Moore, 20, said, “We will never see her pretty smile.”