Story Summary

Man charged in shooting death of 6-month old Jonylah Watkins

The Chicago Police Department charged a man in the fatal shooting of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins.

Police say 33-year-old Komen Willis was targeting Jonylah’s father Jonathan Watkins. Police say Watkins stole a video gaming system and the owner, Willis, came with a gun looking for revenge .

Jonylah was shot on March 11 as she sat with her father in a parked minivan near the intersection of 65th Street and Maryland.

Jonylah Watkins was rushed to Northwestern Hospital where she clung to life and died the following day.

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The father of an infant who was shot to death is speaking out after police announce charges in her murder this week.

Jonylah Watkins was sitting on her father’s lap in a minivan in the Woodlawn neighborhood when someone started shooting.

Police say the girl’s father, Jonathan Watkins, was the target.

He joined WGN Morning News along with Pastor Corey Brooks, who has been working with the Watkins family.

Watkins could not talk about the case but did say he’s trying to turn his life around.

Koman Willis is being held without bail in the little girl’s death.

Local News
05/28/13

Bond denied in killing of 6-month-old

A judge denied bond on Tuesday for the man charged with killing a 6-month-old girl and wounding her father.

Koman Willis is being held at the Cook County jail without bail.

Joined by Pastor Corey Brooks at New Beginnings Church in Woodlawn, the words didn’t come easy for the baby’s father Jonathan Watkins when he spoke to the media earlier today.

“I’m happy about it. I’m happy the killer got caught,” he said.

The 29-year-old former gang member and father of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins talked for the first time since seeing Koman Willis in bond court today.

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old wanted revenge for a burglary he believed Watkins had a hand in.  Among the items taken were drugs and a play station.  Willis, they say, found Watkins in a van while changing his daughter’s diaper.

“Jonathan lifted Jonylah to give her a kiss.  When the defendant, Koman Willis, approached and fired multiple gunshots into the van,” said Asst. Cook County State’s Attorney Heather Kent.

WatkinsKomanCarousel

“She was crying when they were shooting off the noise,” Watkins said.  “So I crawled out of the car. Had her on my chest and she was looking at me eye to eye and police would not get up off me. Blood was rushing down my side.”

While Jonathan was injured, Jonylah, an unintended  target, was killed.

Prosecutors say Willis had the motive and can place him near the scene.

His defense attorney says his client, who has a long criminal history, turned himself in over the weekend after hearing police were looking for him. He says he plans to challenge the no bail ruling at his next court appearance June 6th.

The father of Jonylah Watkins, a 6-month-old who was shot and killed in Chicago in March, spoke at a news conference Thursday about the crime. Jonathan Watkins, 29, was also shot during the incident.

WatkinsKomanCarouselA judge denies bond on Tuesday for the man charged with killing a six month-old girl and wounding her father.

33 year-old Koman Willis is accused of shooting to death Jonylah Watkins, and wounding 29 year-old Jonathan Watkins, in the Woodlawn neighborhood on March 11th.

The two victims were sitting in the front seat of a minivan at the time.

Police say Willis opened-fire on the elder Watkins over a stolen video game console. Willis turned himself over to Chicago Police on Saturday.

Willis is a convicted felon, and has been arrested nearly 40 times.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this report.

The shooting death of a 6-month-old baby may have been retaliation for a burglary.

Koman Willis

Koman Willis

Bond will be set today for Koman Willis.

He is accused of targeting the father of Jonylah Watkins last March.

Jonathan Watkins and Jonylah were both shot while inside a van on 65th and South Maryland.

Jonathan Watkins survived with multiple gunshot wounds, but baby Jonylah died from her injuries.

Police say the shooting was not gang related, but both Willis and Jonathan Watkins have gang ties.

The shooting was payback over a stolen video game console.

Jonylah’s parents are grateful an arrest has been made.

Willis is a career criminal with 38-arrests dating back to 1996.

His record includes an assault of a police officer, multiple drug convictions and a weapons charge.

He is now charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.

The Chicago Police Department announced charges in the fatal shooting of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins two months ago in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

Police now say 33-year-old Komen Willis was targeting Jonylah’s father Jonathan Watkins. Police say Watkins stole a video gaming system and the owner, Willis, came with a gun looking for revenge .

6-month-old Jonylah was shot on March 11th as she sat with her father in a parked minivan near the intersection of 65th Street and Maryland.

Jonylah Watkins was rushed to Northwestern Hospital where she clung to life and died the following day.

Police say both Willis and Watkins are gang members but the shooting was not gang related.

At a press conference this afternoon, Chicago police superintendent  Garry McCarthy said Watkins was slow to provide information to detectives at first. But, McCarthy credited the family’s pastor Corey Brooks for convincing Watkins to cooperate.

But in the end, the true break in the case came last week from detectives identifying witnesses to the shooting who had not previously come forward.

Willis turned himself in on Saturday and is now charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Police say Willis has at least 38 previous arrests.

Chicago police are questioning someone in connection with the murder of a 6-month-old girl.

Jonylah Watkins was shot in the head while sitting on her father’s lap in a parked mini-van, in the 6500 of South Maryland in March.

Watkins died a day later.

Her father was shot three times, but survived.

Police believe he was being targeted by rival gang members.

The family’s pastor says they’re grateful for how hard detectives have worked on the case.

Charges have not been filed, but they could come later today.

There is a potential break in the case of a 6-month-old who was shot and killed back in March.

The Sun-Times is reporting a suspect is being questioned by Chicago Police in the Jonylah  Watkins murder.

The baby girl was sitting on her father’s lap inside a minivan near 65th and Maryland when someone opened fire on the vehicle.

Jonylah was hit once and killed.

The family’s pastor says they’re grateful for how hard detectives have worked on the case.

Police have said in the past they think the girl’s father was being targeted by rival gang members.

They are not commenting on the case tonight.

A 6-month-old was laid to rest one week after she was killed on the lap of her own father.

Hundreds of loving friends and family said goodbye to Johnylah Watkins, a little girl they hardly got to know.

A tiny white casket was removed from a hearse outside New Beginnings Church of Chicago. Onlookers wept as the mother and father of young Jonylah followed their only child into a funeral home for a final farewell.

Inside, there were demands from the pulpit; too much violence, too many deaths.  The people of Chicago for days have wanted answers. This day in particular, they want action.

They sang, they prayed, they wept and then they left. It’s a community becoming all too familiar with the routine of a funeral up in arms over the senseless bloodshed that could even take a life as vulnerable and innocent as young Jonylah’s.

Jonylah’s dad Jonathan, police say, has known gang affiliation and a criminal record with 30-plus arrests and five convictions. He was the target, police say.

There are no suspects in custody at this.

A tiny white casket is the latest symbol of Chicago’s gun violence problem.

In this casket lies the body of six month-old Jonylah Watkins. She was shot and killed by a bullet meant for her dad, who has alleged gang ties and a criminal history.

Her funeral was held Tuesday at New Beginnings Church at 66th and King Drive. Her father and mother, Jonathan and Judy, wore white sweatshirts covered with her pictures.

“While we thank God for her life, we also, I think all of us need to apologize to her for not doing our best to make this world a better place. She deserved better than she got,” said Rev. Marshall Hatch.

Jonylah was shot as she sat on her father’s lap inside a van in the Woodlawn neighborhood on March 11th. A gunman walked up to the vehicle near 65th and Maryland, and opened fire.

She was hit once, but the bullet injured several organs and she passed away the next day. Her father suffered two wounds, and was released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital last Thursday.

Police say he is cooperating, but could be helping a lot more.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

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