Suspect charged in murder of 6-month-old baby - KMSP-TV

Suspect charged in murder of 6-month-old baby

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Koman Willis, 33, has been charged with murdering 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins in Chicago in March. Police say the baby was killed over a stolen Playstation.

Willis was taken into custody on Saturday and charged on Monday afternoon with first degree murder and aggravated battery, for also wounding Jonylah's father.

"[Willis] knew Jonylah's father and shot at him in retaliation for a stolen video game system," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Willis is scheduled to be in court on Tuesday. He has an extensive criminal history, with about 40 prior arrests, and is a gang member, McCarthy said.

Police say Willis opened fire on Jonathan Watkins, Jonylah's father, as he changed her diaper in a minivan in the 6500 block of South Maryland. Jonathan suffered three gunshot wounds, and a stray bullet hit the 6-month-old. She died one day later.

The Chicago area's reaction to the baby girl's death was overwhelming. It renewed the public's outcry for an end to violence in the city, which echoed long after she was laid to rest.

Family spokesman Pastor Corey Brooks said this has been a life-changing experience for Jonylah's family, especially for Jonathan Watkins.

"There has been a lot of growth in their marriage, in their relationship," Brooks said. "He is working now [and] he is getting a GED. All that was not happening before. Even though this was a horrific thing that happened, they're going to try to make a better life."

Pastor Brooks said Chicago police have been keeping the family abreast of all of the developments in this case. He said officers talk to them every day to let them know where things stand. Jonylah's family has said they are glad the police are so dedicated to their daughter's case.

"Whatever the police ask of Jonathan do, in his power, he's going to do it," Brooks said. "He has been cooperative since Day 1. Whatever he can do to help the police department solve this case, he's definitely going to do that."

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