A 9-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly beat 14-month-old Taquan Willis to death in his own bedroom. The two are believed to be related — read on for more of the shocking details.
14-month-old Taquan Willis was found beaten to death in his mother Ashley Johnson‘s house in Cahokia, Ill., and a 9-year-old boy, who is believed to be a relative, has been charged with first-degree murder. The toddler had been sleeping in his bedroom with his alleged attacker.
After one of the adults at the house heard groaning from the bedroom, they checked on Taquan and discovered his lifeless body. He was rushed to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Relatives say the toddler was staying at the house with his two brothers, ages two and three, a friend of his mother’s along with her boyfriend, and a 12-year-old boy and the 9-year-old boy accused of the crime, according to the Daily Mail.
On Sept. 4, the suspect was charged with murder in juvenile court.
“I loved his smile and the way he poked his lips out to give me a kiss,” Taquan’s father, Todd A. Willis Jr, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his son after Taquan’s funeral on Sept. 1.
“He was just a happy baby,” his mom Ashley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He would bring a lot of joy to you. He smiled and danced.”
What a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Taquan’s family during this difficult time.
— Christina Stiehl
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