Man held without bond in death of Indian Head Park teen
By Lauren Fitzpatrick and Frank Main
Last Modified: Nov 4, 2011 04:29PM
A 38-year-old parolee with a long criminal history was denied bail Friday, charged with murdering an Indian Head Park teen last week.
John L. Wilson of Chicago was charged with first-degree murder and residential burglary in the stabbing death of 14-year-old Kelli O’Laughlin.
Judge Peter A. Felice ordered Wilson held without bond during an appearance at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview, just as funeral services were being held a few miles away for the freshman at Lyons Township High School.
“He does pose a threat,” Felice said, denying bail.
Wilson, in a gray sweatshirt that covered his arm tattoos, did not speak during the hearing, which took place in a courtroom packed with spectators that included prosecutors, public defenders and sitting judges.
Wilson, of the 7900 block of South Lafayette Avenue, was arrested in the first block of East 95th Street in Chicago on Wednesday, a source said.
Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Troy said he stole Kelli’s cell phone and iPod touch, later using the phone to send taunting texts to her mother. Police found the phone on Wilson when he was arrested, Troy said.
Prosecutors said the U.S. Secret Service was able to use cell-phone tracking technology to determine that Kelli’s phone and Wilson’s phone were traveling together throughout Chicago.
At a press conference in Indian Head Park Friday, neither Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez nor Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart would reveal details of the taunts.
“A horrific crime was committed here, and then to have the mother of the victim subject to taunts by the person who did it … I can’t describe it,” Dart said.
Alvarez said even hardened investigators became tearful at the horror of the case.
Added Dart: “I don’t think words can express what people saw and felt. The loss that the O’Laughlin family experienced — I don’t think anybody could imagine something so horrible in their life.”
Orland Park police Chief Tim McCarthy, head of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force that worked on the case, said investigators worked thousands of hours to crack it.
Dart said it was their sense of loss for the family that “drove people so relentlessly until someone was charged.
“You name it, we did it.”
Added Indian Head Park Police Chief Frank Alonzo, “All of our hearts go out to the family of Kelli O’Laughlin.”
Kelli was attacked Oct. 27 when she encountered Wilson in her home in the southwest suburb, authorities said.
An eight-inch butcher knife apparently taken from the block on a kitchen counter was found next to a pool of blood in the family room, where police believe Kelli was killed, prosecutors said.
She had been stabbed in the back, chest and neck, Troy said. It was her mother who found Kelli’s body in the ransacked home, authorities said.
A source previously said Wilson did not have the murder weapon on him when he was arrested. He actually had some kind of “interaction” with another suburban police force the day of the murder but he was not arrested.
Alvarez said he used a rock tucked inside a knit cap to break a window to get into the O’Laughlin home. DNA recovered from the hat matched Wilson, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors offered no motive for why he killed Kelli.
He was paroled in November 2010 after serving some seven years of an 11-year prison sentence from a 2002 carjacking charge, according to records from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
He had served prison time on prior convictions for drug possession, carjacking, aggravated battery and possessing a stolen vehicle.
Meanwhile, mourners lined the roads Friday near St. John of the Cross Church in Western Springs, where Kelli’s funeral was being held Friday morning.
They had packed a La Grange funeral home the previous two nights for her visitation.
– Chicago Sun-Times
Dear Guilty Middle-Class Whites,
I know this sounds harsh and uncharitable but the simple truth of the matter is that there are many black men who currently cannot handle civilized society and need to be locked up for their entire lives (or at least until old age sets in). I wish this weren’t so, and I suspect that if more of these men grew up with fathers, the situation would be better; but right now we need as many prisons as necessary to hold these men as long as necessary. And I suspect my libertarian friends are just wrong about the “prison-industrial complex” fueling some sort of mad unnecessary growth in the construction and maintenence of prisons. Maybe we can separate out the violent from the non-violent offenders and get more non-violent criminals into drug treatment programs and mental health counseling — but as this story suggests there are too many violent black men running around who need to be locked up.