Authorities in Illinois say a 19-year-old man has been indicted on first-degree murder charges in connection to the death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the young victim, Skylar Mendez, spilled her juice, which allegedly triggered the deadly reaction from Johnathan Fair.
The Waukegan man appeared in a Lake County Circuit Court on Wednesday, when a grand jury handed down indictments on four counts of first-degree murder.
The following day, Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Scheller explained that a conviction in any trial resulting from the allegations could land him in jail for the remainder of his natural life.
Reports indicate Fair was babysitting the victim and transported her to an area hospital on December 13, telling medical staff that she fell. After multiple efforts to treat her massive head trauma, she was pronounced dead several days later.
In later remarks to investigators, he allegedly confessed to shaking Skylar “really hard” after the girl spilled juice on his video gaming system. Police later gathered evidence leading them to claim that he kicked the girl down the hall of the home and beat her until she passed out.
Investigators later alleged that the physical abuse likely dated back months before the fatal injuries.
A statement from the Waukegan Police Department confirmed that the suspect and Skylar’s mother were present when she arrived at Vista Medical Center East shortly before midnight.
Hospital staff alerted law enforcement and reports indicate the girl was transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where she died.
“Officers were initially told that the child received injury from a falling while in her apartment in the 1600 block of Sunset Avenue,” the police statement said.
Fair lived in the same home as the victim and her mother, according to police. The mother was reportedly not at home at the time of the alleged attack.