A Chicago man with at least 38 prior arrests allegedly told friends that he murdered a 6-month-old child in March, according to prosecutors in a Cook County courtroom, sources say.
A recent report from CNN detailed the investigation into the murder of Jonylah Watkins, the young child who was fatally shot in a van while sitting on her father’s lap two months ago.
According to prosecutors, Koman Willis was responsible for the shooting, and a key piece of evidence in the state’s case may be a recent revelation from a surprise source.
Sources say a witness, who remains unidentified, went to police and claimed that Willis admitted to killing the child in the tragic incident that took place on March 11.
The witness could be important for the prosecution, which claimed in court documents that Willis believed Jonathon Watkins, the father of Jonylah, had stolen drugs and a Sony PlayStation from the home of the alleged shooter’s mother.
After seeing Watkins in the parked van, Willis allegedly grabbed a gun and drove into the alley where Watkins was reportedly changing his baby’s diaper.
According to prosecutors, Willis then left his car, walked behind the van, and fired four shots into the back of the vehicle. The shooting allegedly occurred right as Watkins lifted his baby to kiss her, according to sources.
The child died a few hours later, and became a symbol for the rampant gun violence that has plagued Chicago for several years.
But prosecutors believe they have found the man responsible for the crime. According to Assistant State’s Attorney Heather Kent, investigators traced a van belonging to the girlfriend of Watkins to the area of the shooting.
In addition, prosecutors say cell phone records also place Willis in the area at the time of the arrest, and surveillance videos allegedly show Willis parking his girlfriend’s van and removing the plates shortly after the shooting.
And this isn’t the first time the 33-year-old Willis has been charged with a crime. Sources say the 33-year-old man is a member of a prominent gang and has been arrested at least 38 times.
According to reports, the man’s lengthy criminal record includes an arrest in 2002 for assaulting a police officer. Willis reportedly served three years in prison for this crime.
Today, Willis faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. If his criminal defense attorneys fail to prove his innocence, Willis could spend the rest of his life in prison.