A man who allegedly beat a 4-year-old girl to death after she dropped juice onto a games console has been indicted on four counts of first-degree murder.
Johnathan Fair, 19, a resident of Waukegan, Illinois, is currently held in Lake County jail with bail at $5 million. If convicted, Mr Fair faces between 60 years and life in prison.
Toddler Skylar Mendez died in December 2018 after suffering a head injury. Her death was officially ruled a homocide after an autopsy.
Assistant State Attorney Steve Scheller called the crime “heinous” and alleged that Mr Fair phsically punished the 4-year-old girl after she spilt juice on an Xbox. Mr Fair was supposed to be babysitting her at the time.
Mr Scheler alleged the girl was kicked down a hallway, and was brought to the hospital after she passed out.
Mr Fair initially said the girl fell and hit her head, but then admitted to shaking her “really hard” as punishment, the prosecutor said.
The toddler was treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital and passed away a few days later, Mr Scheler said.
Mr Far was initially charged with aggravated battery to a child. But the charges upgraded to include four counts of first-degree murder.
Sam Amirante, the defence attorney for Fair, told the Associated Press that his client “will be acquitted” when “the real facts come out.”
A GoFundMe page was created for funeral preparations for the the deceased toddler. “Our beautiful niece Skyler only 4-year-old had a tragic accident,” Cecilia Villalpando wrote.
“At her early age, God had called for her. Unfortunately for a tragedy like this, we were not financially prepared,” the statement added.
The GoFundMe paid raised more than $3,000.
Fair will appear before Lake County Judge James Booras in his next scheduled court date on 17 February.
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