Suspect Charged In Chicago Baby’s Shooting Death

Chicago, IL – A suspect, a former gang member with nearly three dozen arrests on his criminal record, has been charged in the drive-by shooting death of a 6-month-old girl.

Koman Willis, 33, has been officially charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery for a shooting in the 6500-block of S. Maryland on March 11 in which Jonathan Watkins, 29, was shot and wounded with a single bullet, and his infant daughter, Jonylah, was shot and killed as they sat in a minivan.

Police believe Jonathan was the intended target and Jonylah was simply an innocent bystander. Authorities do not believe the incident was gang-related, though both men have gang ties.

The drive-by shooting likely stemmed from a burglary where Jonathan was accused of taking a video game system from Willis – thus Willis retaliated with gunfire. Given the circumstances, Jonathan will not face charges for the burglary.

Police got a break in the case last week that ultimately led them to their suspect, who turned himself into authorities on Saturday once he knew detectives were looking for him. The weapon used has not yet been located, nor has Willis confessed to the crime in question.

Lieutenant Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department was quoted by a local ABC News affiliate as saying, “We were able to identify witnesses last week that we had not identified earlier in the investigation; they provided some key information that started the ball rolling.”

Willis is expected to appear in bond court on Tuesday.

Under Illinois Law, a person commits the felony crime of first-degree murder when they kill an individual without justification of self-defense, do great bodily harm to an individual that results in their death or a victim is killed by intent or accident during a commission of another crime.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Willis could face a minimum of 20 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison – based on his preexisting criminal record – or the possibility of a death sentence if aggravating factors are assessed in the case.

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