Chicago police: Infant killed over stolen video game system

May 28, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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CHICAGO, May 28 (UPI) -- A Chicago infant was fatally shot over a stolen video game console, police said in announcing the arrest of a career felon expected in bond court Tuesday.

Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins was killed and her father Jonathan Watkins, 29, was shot by Koman Willis, 33, in Watkins' parked minivan "in retaliation for a stolen video game system," police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

Willis was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery, the Cook County state's attorney's office said late Monday.

Authorities said they believed the shootings were in retaliation for Jonathan Watkins allegedly burglarizing Willis' mother's home. A PlayStation video game console was one of the items stolen, authorities said.

The console was later sold to someone in the neighborhood, law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune.

When the new owner hooked up the system, he realized it belonged to Willis, a well-known neighborhood criminal, the Tribune said.

Not wanting any trouble, the new owner returned the console to Willis and told him he bought it from Watkins, one of the sources told the newspaper.

Willis, a convicted felon with more than three dozen arrests dating from 1996, questioned people in the neighborhood about Watkins and opened fire on his minivan March 11 as the father sat in the front seat with Jonylah, police said.

Willis escaped in a cargo van caught on surveillance video, authorities said.

Jonathan Watkins -- who is not expected to be charged with burglary in the case -- plans to make a public statement Tuesday, family spokesman the Rev. Corey Brooks told the Tribune.

"They are very grateful and thankful," Brooks said of family members. "Hopefully they will be able to put this part behind them and go forward."

More than 500 people were killed in Chicago last year, most by gunfire.

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