LAKE COUNTY, Ill. – An Illinois man is facing a life sentence after prosecutors said he fatally beat his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter for spilling juice on his Xbox video game console.
Johnathan Fair, 19, of Waukegan, was indicted on four counts of first-degree murder Wednesday.
Prosecutors said the alleged incident occurred on the night of December 13, when Fair was babysitting his girlfriend's daughter, 4-year-old Skylar Mendez.
Waukegan Police received a call about 11:30 p.m. reporting a child with a head injury at a nearby hospital. Officers were told that the child received the injury from falling and was brought to the hospital by her mother and Fair, according to a statement obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
Fair initially told officers that the girl had fallen and hit her head at home, but later admitted that he had shaken her "really hard" and beaten her as punishment for spilling juice on his Xbox, the statement said. Police said that the child's mother was not at home when the incident occurred.
Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Scheller said that the child was also kicked down a hallway at the home.
Investigators said the girl was taken to the hospital after passing out during the beating. A surgical procedure to relieve swelling of her brain was unsuccessful, and she died a few days later. Doctors noted signs of previous shaking and abuse likely going back months, prosecutors said.
Fair remains in custody at the Lake County Jail with his bail set at $5 million, officials said. His arraignment is scheduled for February 17.